Learn Hebrew

Hebrew for Christians
Our Need for God's Love...
Vine and Branches

Shevat 26, 5769

Love's Great Abiding

Thoughts about the Shema

by John J. Parsons

Ve'ahavta et Adonai...

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart (Deut. 6:5)

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO "command" someone to love you?  Doesn't it seem absurd to even suggest such a thing? For instance, can you "order" your children to love you? What about your spouse? Your friend? Your pet? And yet the LORD commands this very thing, insisting that we make Him the primary passion of our lives, before all other competing loves or interests.  Only God can rightfully make such a demand because He knows that loving other things more than Him leads to "disordered love," moral evil, and eventual madness.  We were made for God's love, but substituting finite things for this infinite need will never suffice to bring lasting healing to our souls...

God doesn't need us to worship Him.  He's not insecure or threatened if we do not love Him. No, it's the other way around. God "demands" our love because He knows how

much we need Him. The essence of God is love itself (1 John 4:8) and therefore it is for our infinite good to join His celebration of life...  Indeed, we were created – the very cosmos itself was created – for the sake of being in a love relationship with God. This is the reason for everything that exists. Living in denial of God's love is a form of spiritual insanity and despair.

Creation for Love

There is "no fear in love" (1 John 4:18), though God forewarns fearful things if we will disregard reality. Hell is therefore the rejection of love, the shock of discovering that reality is based on God's love. Jesus' life and sacrifice is the radiance of God's essence, the "exact imprint of His nature" (Heb. 1:3), and therefore rejecting Jesus is rejecting God. On the other hand, a saint, a tzaddik, is one who genuinely responds to God's love by abiding in it.

Abide in Him

Jesus used the metaphor of a vine and branches to illustrate this union. If you look closely at a vine, it's difficult to see where the vine ends and the branches begin. The expression of our hope, the life we live "entangled" in God's love, bears fruit that draws sustenance from the life of the true Vine. This is the communion of love as it works itself out in our daily life.

May God help us meet our need for Him today – and always!

Hebrew-English Transliteration:

Hebrew Transliteration

ve'ahavta et Adonai Elohekha b'kol-levavkha

<< Return


Hebrew for Christians
Copyright © John J. Parsons
All rights reserved.