Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

How do we love God with our mind? This isn’t about intellectual assent to beliefs about God but rather using our mind to love God. Maybe that seems odd. We often say we love with our heart and think with our mind. Yet our minds encounter and process both thoughts and feelings. Our minds give shape to what we say and how we act.

We know how to put our minds to use in service of school or work. May we discover anew how to engage our minds in service of loving God.

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My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my plans than your plans.

Isaiah 55:8-9

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As much capacity as our minds have for creativity, analysis, remembering, and judgment, there are some things that are simply beyond us. We could gather together our intellectual reasoning, our creative problem solving, we could add in the most sophisticated artificial intelligence, and still the mind and ways of God will be mysterious to us.

It’s not that we can’t know anything about God and God’s ways. Studying scripture, prayer and gathering together for worship are three basic avenues to knowing God and God’s desires for us. But every time we think we have God all figured out, what we’ve really done is make God small and manageable.

God asks us to open our minds to the possibility of being surprised, even shocked, at what God intends for us and for our world. There’s an old hymn that says, “For the love of God is broader than the measures of the mind.” Might we allow our minds to be transformed by the surprising love of God that surpasses our expectations?

Ann Deibert

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Surprising God, many days I would prefer you to be unsurprising and predictable. Assure me of your presence as I embrace the mystery of your great love. Amen.

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God loves your mind. God loves you.

Invite God to renew and transform your mind to love God and your neighbor.

Then go in peace and share that great love.

Ann Deibert

Ann Deibert lives in Louisville, KY with her spouse, Martha, and two rescue dogs. In addition to being a pastor at Central Presbyterian Church, Ann is a spiritual director, gardener, and gelato maker.

Making Space: Stillness

Carter Harrell

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