Tag Archives: Moshe

MIRYAM

Once upon a time there was a young girl named Miryam. She was an only child – some say for a long time – some say for a shorter time. In any case, her parents were afraid to have more children. In fact – she was named for the bitterness, rebellion as a reflection of the times in which they lived. Slavery has a tendency to do that to people.

Eventually Miryam had a younger brother. Her parents named him Aaron, and the siblings grew as children tend to do. But shortly after, Pharaoh grew wary of the great numbers of Jewish children being born. How could he continue to enslave such a massive group if they continued to procreate in such numbers? An edict came down – “Kill all new born males.”

Hmmmmm….sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Some oral traditions say that Miryam and Aaron’s parents decided not to sleep together. Why bring a child into such a world? Unbeknownst to anyone up until now, Miryam had been blessed with a gift of music and prophecy. She told her parents that they were to have another child who would bring redemption to their people.

Obviously, she was right. They got together and Moshe was born. Most of us know the story from there. Miryam watched over the baby in the basket. She prayed against so many things as she watched the basket drift. Some of them answered – some of them not. Surely, she would not have wanted her baby brother to be found by Pharaoh’s daughter – or to be taken in by one such as the royal family and yet – that was exactly the plan of G-d.

I keep getting caught by the similarities between the two, world-changing Passovers. Moshe – Yeshua. Moshe watched over by Miryam. Yeshua watched over by another Miryam (yes – in Hebrew her name was written Miryam) – again a reflection of the times in which she lived. Two men who were threatened with death by just being born. Two men who brought redemption to their people. Two men appearing when needed. A people enslaved. A people occupied. Redemption needed by both. Two Passovers with two Jewish men in pivotal positions of faith AND with two women named Maryam who watched them grow into their G-d path.

There are so many similarities between these two Passovers, and I have a feeling that I haven’t even begun to see all that there is to see. G-d winks at us so often – trying to catch our attention – trying to encourage us to see what He has so clearly designed to show us – – – why Christ followers are so tied to the Abraham followers. Two groups of people tied by two Passovers.

Sometimes when I am writing these things, my stomach and head begin to hurt. Separating tangled strands in my mind is not always easy for me. Clarity elusive. But just when I’m ready to slam the laptop closed and delete it all, a fleeting picture forms in my mind that takes me one step further, and I sigh under my breath, ‘How did I miss that?” I push open that narrow gate, whisper a prayer and take one more step forward.

“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”~Rv 4:8b [google images]

PACZKIS

Ok – here it is – another “Fat Tuesday” – another Mardi Gras – another Shrove Tuesday – and I have yet to find Paczkis in NC. Oh – I could travel 50 miles and find some, but that isn’t really my idea of fun. Surely somewhere within a smaller circle of miles there must be a Polish baker who understands my pain. My former principal certainly doesn’t. She sent me a taunting text last night, and I cried myself to sleep…dreaming of those gut-busting, delicious doughnuts.

So instead – I went and picked up the Grandson, spread my metaphorical mantle over the both of us and rejoiced in his hugs and curious nature. (I’m not quite sure what I will do when he decides to be too big to hug on Grandma all the time. His sister is almost there and it is not easy on the Grandma – sigh)

I tend to think this was a much better way to spend “Fat Tuesday” since ingesting multiple varieties of ol’ Paczkis (can’t say that word anyway) would lead to me having to find a much larger mantle to cover the expanding gut. Soooo – as he curled into my lap (while eating mac ‘n cheese), we read a Pete the Cat book AND solved the major problem of all board games. We figured out that if one dice does not give you the number you want in a board game, there is another cube hidden deep in a drawer that may just be the lucky one you need.

“Elijah went up to him and threw his mantle around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah.”~1 Kg 19:19-20

Today, I was reading about the passing of mantles in the Bible world. A mantle was more than just a physical covering that enfolded the prophet or rabbi’s shoulders. It was the spiritual calling, the anointing of God’s blessing and covering presence upon that individual for the Ivrim (Hebrews) and later for the world.

Moshe, as he ascended the mountain for the last time, laid his hands and his mantle upon Joshua. When Elijah dropped his mantle to the ground as the chariot of fire came and whisked him away to heaven, his disciple, Elisha, reached down and picked it up, The spirit of Elijah – the spirit of Elohim came upon him. Each leader – each prophet – each rabbi – passed on his mantle.

[Elisha] took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.”~2 Kg 2:14

When Yeshua entered into the Jordan to be baptized, John passed the mantle just as his ancestors had done. And just as before, the Spirit of the Father descended and covered the man who had chosen to pick it up and carry it forward. But this is where it changes. The mantle Rabbi Yeshua carried could never be carried by just one man ever again. Instead, when He laid down His mantle, the Holy Spirit of God enveloped all who choose to pick up the mantle. We celebrate this day by calling it Pentecost, but in truth, whenever one God’s children chooses to pick up the mantle, to be born-again, the Spirit of God is present as well.

“And during the arriving of the day of Pentecost, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound like a violent rushing wind came out of heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them dividing tongues as of fire and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit was giving to them to utter forth.”~Acts 2:1-4

“Shrove Tuesday” – “Fat Tuesday” – Mardi Gras – however you want to refer to it – was all about spreading my own cozy mantle. Spreading the mantle instead of the girth of my belly. I guess, I’m not ready to lay down my mantle yet. He keeps tell me there are some more rabbi days left in me and most of the time – I tend to believe Him. I just wish he would be a clearer on the specifics of it all. Looking at the backside of a tapestry is a puzzle my brain doesn’t always decipher well.

In any case, day-by-day, I’m definitely spreading my own mantle out over the shoulders of those around me – physically and metaphorically. FB, blogs and Goggle docs keep me writing, editing and teaching in more ways than the traditional classroom allows, and I am enjoying it. I’m also enjoying cuddling under my mantle with the Grands – even techno cuddling via FB with my MI Grands. The blessings of His Mantle never fails.

COVENANT SONG

“I am making everything new!” ~Rev 21:5a

This verse has been drifting through my mind since yesterday, so I guess that is my hint. Got to admit, I’ve been paraphrasing these words – “I make all things new”. I laugh and feel Abba “Gibbs slap” me, but like DiNozzo, I smile because I know it is a sign of affection and pride.

Our home still looks like a construction zone. Lumber piles cover many of our new flat spots. I know, they will eventually disappear into a lumber yard – hopefully to bless someone else’s home in some new way. Piles of brush are still scattered hither and yon. And while my driveway is fairly cleared of Hubby’s toys (due to the highly functional new carport), there are still a few toys piled up along the side of the house. (The racks for hanging them in the “garage” haven’t quite made the “done list” – – – yet!)

“It is done!”~Rev 21:6a

Now these are words I am definitely waiting to hear for I getting antsy to see how our covenanted land will look as G-d knows it will. So while I wait, I’ve been pulling more brush from the edges of my garden, raking leaves and cleaning the front shutters. Did you know that stuff advertised on TV – RustOleum ReColor – really works? Wipe it on – stinks bad so be prepared – and whammo – shutters look new. Now if I just didn’t have to climb ladders to get the rest of the shutters done. sigh

Tonight the body is a little sore, but thanks to our therapeutic hot tub – not bad at all. An earlier shower has given way to a cool breeze chasing away the near 80 temperatures of the day, and I am content. Somehow, I just know the quirky home is content as well.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”~Rev 21:6b-7

Tonight, as I drank my last glass of water, I watched Venus disappear into the horizon of trees. The puppies are snoring louder than the Hubby for once, and I feel a song rising within me. Moses and the people of Israel sang a song of joy when they emerged from the waters of the Nile. Miriam, the prophetess and sister of Aaron (which is a whole ‘nother story that is turning in my head) led them in another new song of joy.

Two prayerful songs of thanksgiving and praise to the Father who had blessed them.

Tonight, I think I might have a clue how that must have felt. It was a new day of song for this fleeing tribe of people – long, long ago. A new covenant was taking shape. Just as there is a new covenant song tonight singing on the wind from my heart to the Father – for my country — my covenanted land – my family – my friends – dancing through the narrow gate where the land has been made new and a garden beyond compare awaits.

“Behold, I make all things new.” ~Rev 21:5a

THERE ARE TIMES

estherprayedThere are times we don’t understand. There are times when it hurts more than we thought it would. There are times when the aching hole becomes an terrifying abyss. There are times when tears are not enough.

There are times when we must – – –

“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” — 1 Chronicles 16:11 

Tragedies and miracles happen in this world. We bumble around and whine or cheer depending on our perception of the events. Blaming or praising. Cursing or Singing. Weeping or laughing.

But – there are times when we must – – –

“….stand on a rock.”~Ex 33:21 

passover_custom-55cfde5853950100beb5e8b591604363d3161087-s900-c85Passover starts tonight. It was a time of tragedy and miracles.It was a time of fear. A time of excitement. A time living the reality of bondage. A time with hints of freedom. A time of fearful doubts. A time of scary decisions. A time when most chose to stay within the constrictions of Egypt and not follow the strange elder calling for them to follow him into the freedom of the dessert.

There are times to curl into the cleft of the rock – – –

“When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by” Ex 33:22.

Jewish tradition says that hindsight is the only way we can see why things happen as they do, because we can only see the back of God. Seeing Him face-to-face would be greater than anything we could handle. Knowing the reasons and the whys of all the things of which must come together to bring us back to Him would overwhelm us – paralyze us. Infinite ramifications. Choices. Options. Circling time. Generation-to-generation of entwining love. Sinful mortality being pursued by pure Grace.

“Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” Ex 33:23 

Those who stayed behind in Egypt probably never knew what happened to the others who had followed Moshe into the desert. Non-existent technology. Communications limited. There are times that I have wondered if – when they pulled their head out of the clef of the rock – did they see God’s back or did they just go doing the same old things they had always done as if nothing had ever occurred?

There are times when faith leads us to decisions. There are times when faith leads us to miracles. There are times when Grace blesses our wisdom, and we see His indistinct back  fading into the distance. There are times when we leave everything behind even the yeast of our lives to follow the One who leads us into a desert. A desert of freedom.  A desert filled with enough manna and water that we will never be hungry or thirsty again.

There are times when we fall on our knees and humbly whisper: Baruch Hashem, Adonai.

WHOA!

Jan 28 2016aWHOA!!

HALT!!

STOP ALREADY!!

I am tired and weepy. Hubby is tired and grumpy which makes me more tired and weepy. We are – in no particular order – tired of lugging, juggling, adjusting – tired of being too hot, too cold or too out of sorts to care – tired of stepping over, around, under all things in our way – tired of not eating well and having to eat “out” – tired of delays because the first snow storm of the season just blew through and blew our time-tables to smithereens – tired of clinging furbabies who are way too uncomfortable to have any sense of home in this melee – – – just plain, no-other-way-to-say-it – – – – – – TIRED.

Praise the LORD, we still have a comfortable bed so we can start the new day – – – – – semi-tired.

Seriously, how did the pioneers ever find the gumption to keep on movin’ on? I truly think I would have looked at my hubby, rolled my eyes,and hiked my proverbial skirts up, gathered my dog, horse, goats or whatever and immediately started back to civilization. And how in the world Moshe ever kept the Israelites traveling in a desert for 40 years is beyond me. I probably would have been like most of the Jews of that day (in case you don’t know, according to Jewish tradition only one third of the Jewish nation left Egypt) and remained in slavery.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.”~Ps 127:1-2

Which just goes to show you – we miss the best part of our life journeys when we stay in our comfort zone. My hubby and I have become creatures of habit. Like our furbabies, we like the routines we have established for ourselves in these “golden” years. It has been easy. It has been too easy in too many ways. Just like the Jewish fore-bearers of our faith, we have chosen to became slaves to “things” and a way of life. Who says history doesn’t repeat itself or that the WORD is full of boring myths of little consequence?

“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”~1 Kg 8:56

That is probably what I love most about Our Father. He never wants us to stagnate. I have this crazy notion that “heaven” is not going to be just lying around and playing our perfectly tuned little harps ad nauseam. Just like I know He is still creating and teaching and parenting and loving and nudging us every day in this world.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not tired. I am. Then I come home and talk to the guys who are working on our house. Several of them are dealing with sick family members, broken vehicles, bills piling up, trying to find time to do their taxes so they can get a refund, working a hard job or two (ones I obviously don’t want or can do as well as they can) with their own versions of achy muscles and joints They are tired, too. They’re just on a different journey than me.

Almost a year ago, I began starting my day with a Jewish prayer in the morning. I’ve added Rabbi Yeshua’s 1st and 2nd commandments to that. Lately, He has been pointing out that I am not any where near perfect at observing those commandments in my life – especially loving my “neighbor”. This month in particular, He is working on me about this, so I’m trying harder. Asking for forgiveness more, Praying more when I’m out of my “comfort zone”. Trying to gather more wisdom for the journey that lies ahead. Somehow, G-d never wastes a chance to grant us more wisdom.

We have come a long way since we found this house in December. We are still tired and often grumpy and occasionally weepy. (Sometimes it is harder “to love jan 28 2016dyour neighbor” when they sleep in the same bed – sigh) But then there is a little night light that helps you navigate, with gritty, puffy eyes, to that space where there is something special (a stove and refrigerator sitting in your kitchen)- something created (a painted wall or tiled floor)- with a lot of planning (a bathroom sink and light) – with a little help from some friends – a clear space in the mess – and you smile. G-d has kept His promise once again.

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”~Heb 12:12-13

So as I rub my eyes and yawn my way through the same prayer with which I began my day, I know that those prayers will probably be interrupted by a snore before my head really sinks deeply into my pillow. I hope that your night will bring you a gentle rest as well. For the one who watches over all of us remains awake, watchful, loving and waiting.

Yeshua said to him, “Foxes have lairs and birds of the sky have shelters, but The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”~Matt 8:20

[google images]

Whoa

MADE WHOLE

10710988_850041038382025_4419352023986082599_nCracked.
Fragmented.
Torn.
Shards.
Tarnished.

Pieces with jagged edges that no longer fit together .

Unbelievably, we sometimes forget how broken we are. We are that good at wearing masks – donning the armor. We argue that life happens. That we can just “suck” it up. Stike the brave warrior pose – march forward into battle once again. Worse things happen every day to other people.

Crucifixions.
Beheadings.
Torture.

Ugliness exists on our small mudball called Terra. There are many victims. Humans. Animals. Our World.

“Restore us, LORD God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.” Ps 80:19

The good news is that there is Someone who will hug us so tightly that all the broken pieces are miraculously re-created as one.

Not glued.
Not pieced together in slapstack fashion

But made whole. Perfect. Without seams.

No scars.
No blemishes.
No missing pieces.

When Moshe climbed Mt. Sinai and returned to his people, he found them worshipping a golden calf. His humaness rose angrily, and he threw the tablets so that they broke upon the sin in front of him. Later, he returned to the mountain and brought down new tablets. However…the wisdom of Jehovah-Jireh prevailed. He had always had a plan. He knew exactly what was needed to return His children to their envisioned wholness.

Before the tablet shattered.
Before righteous confronted evil.
Before a third of the angels fell.
Before the Garden was locked.

When this stronghold of evil was demolished…after the anger subsided…after the tears of remorse, Moshe laid the broken pieces together with the new tablets. Brokenness and wholeness coesxisting – side-by-side – in the heart of the most holy spot on earth – The Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Promise.

“And I will give you shepherds according to my heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jer 3:15

We weren’t created to be broken – in body – in spirit – in mind. We were created whole. Slowly, over the years a guide book was assembled to remind the people.

Not linear.
Not historical.
Not temporal.

Eternal.
Reminder.
Guide.

Godly leaders arose to remind the people how far they had come. A shepherdess carrying water to thirsty sheep. A young shepherd protecting his sheep with a three small stones. A 30 year old shepherd that sought His lost sheep, cradled them in his arms and healed their brokeness.

“Amen, I say to you, no one who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will enter it.” And he took them up in his arms and he laid his hand upon them and he blessed them.” Mark 10:15-16

[google images]

yeshua high priest

Commandment Series: Improper Worship

10-commandmentsThe Holy Spirit was breathing on our church last Sunday.  It didn’t surprise me; this past year I have often felt the Spirit moving around lots of places.  Sometimes in the most unexpected places.  But Sunday was beyond my experiences, and I am still thinking about it.

Usually when I go to church, I like to try to soak everything that I can into myself.  Since I started teaching, church has been my reservoir.  Raising kids at home and giving as much as I could to my “kids” at school, usually left me depleted.  Sunday was my long drink of water…my “go to church” and “stare at the cross” day – or maybe – if they could talk me into it – sing a solo or direct the children’s choir on special occasions day. I have always tended to think of myself as a “closet prayer/worship” kinda person.  Somewhere along the way, I took Jesus’s words pretty seriously about praying privately.

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. …”  Matt 6:5-6 

But as I said, this past Sunday was different.  It was our first communion service in our new church, and I was wondering how this would go in such a huge church.  Small churches are my thing.  I like them because there is intimacy when I kneel at the alter and time to tarry if I wanted to pray a little longer.  However, God is no respecter of small or large churches.  When a space opens that lets Him in, He moves.  Suddenly, during the song the choir was singing, I found myself on  my feet.  My hands raised.  My voice lifted in praise.  As the song went on, more and more worshipers stood and sang as well.  You’ve got to understand – this isn’t me.  I don’t do things like this.  But Sunday – I did.  Pen on floor.  Bible no longer on my lap.  Brain and heart filled with God. The Holy Spirit had me on my feet, and I don’t remember thinking about it……..at all.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and  fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Ex 20:3-5

In Jewish tradition, the 2nd commandment is Ex 20:3-6.  That’s the thing about the 10 commandments.  Actually, Jewish wisdom says there are 613 commandments while the 10 commandments handed to Moshe on Mt. Sinai are considered categories.  Also, since not all religions have the same ones, I have gone with the Jewish tradition that, I think, Rabbi Yeshua would have been taught.  Commandment 1 already said no idols, so in Jewish tradition, the 2nd commandment deals with “Improper Worship”.  No idols – no graven images – no likenesses of beasts, animals, fish or anything of the earth – for there is only one God.  Don’t worry about the fashion idol, the “I-belong-to-the-hip-church idol”, best choir idol…(you got it, right?)  God is unique and beyond our understanding.  He is Jehovah-Shammah when we worship Him because He changes us to our core with His love, forgiveness and grace.

Worship leads us to His kingdom…brings His joyful, eternal kingdom a little closer to our painful, finite kingdom. So…is it really so hard to follow His second commandment?

“To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17 NASB

Commandment Series: Love God

“To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17 NASB 

10-commandments

Today was a good day.  Church and then lunch with Daughter’s family. Exercised.  Enjoyed conversations with those around me. Wasted time playing jigsaw puzzles on the computer.  Read a couple chapters of new book.  Took a small nap.  Watered a newly planted magnolia tree.  Played “ball” with the puppies – a million and one times.  Thanked God for the blessings of feeling sick over the past couple of weeks.

Did your eyebrows go up to your forehead?

Yup – I thanked God for having to deal with an aging body and a minor illness.  Illnesses slow me down. They come a little more often as I get older (cranky joints, nose that are sensitive to a million things that it never, ever noticed before, germs taking up residence in places I never knew existed – whoa – TMI).  Infections center me on the important things; they remind me upon Whom I really depend, because – believe it or  not – I do get all wrapped up in me.   Can you tell that humbleness has never been one of my strong points?  Well – it’s true.  I have a healthy ego.

I sin a lot.  Not the kind of sin that people gasp over (those I hope are in the past)– but sin, nevertheless.  God is not a respecter of any kind of sin.  He gasps at any sin. The old adage: sin is sin is sin, reminds us that to Jevhovah-Tsid Kenu, one sin is as grievous as another.  It is still wrong.  In a world striving to say that there are no absolutes, even saying the word “SIN” can bring a smirk, eye roll or sharp derision from family…acquaintances…best friends.

“And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Gen 2:16-17

Once upon a time, there were absolutes.  It started in a garden when men and women decided to reached for a piece of fruits.  First absolute rolled upon the grass of history, and the Evil One chuckled.  Lucky for us, God has a soft spot for silly, rebellious people and not so much for angels in open rebellion.  (I think that they too had healthy egos.)  After watching His bumbling, stumbling people for the next few centuries, God reached out to a man named Moshe (who also had His share of mistakes, but, lucky for the rest of us, not much of an ego).  Moshe listened to God and walked up a mountain where he stood, kneeled and fell flat on his face on Holy Ground.  A new covenant was drawn up; rules were established once again.

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.” Ex: 20:2-3  

When I was a child, I always thought that “gods” meant those little things you saw in the movies or books…carved figures that had human characteristics but looked a little exaggerated in many of their features.  As I got older, I finally figured out that those figures really had little to do with what Jehovah-Tsid Kenu was talking about in this verse.  Yes, there were societies that had “gods” that they thought would answer all their needs: rain for crops, victory in war, peace in their cities, a good marriage, children for barren wombs, and the lists could go on and on.  After all, isn’t that what “gods” are supposed to do?  The Evil One would not be much of a contender if he didn’t create a few false gods to muddy up a world that was already trying to hide much bigger things than a bite that they took from a piece of fruit .

More money is the answer to prayers?  A perfect marriage will solve all our unhappiness?  The “young, perfect” guy is a whole lot better than the “old, imperfect” husband?  That new car? New house?  New phone?  Notice that “gods” come in many shapes and sizes in our world these days, and sometimes we don’t recognize them until they have taken up residence in the home that we have built far away from Jehovah-Jireh’s kingdom.

Lucky for us, Our Father still has that soft spot for us.  Jehovah-Saboth still wants to help, so He sent His son.  Rabbi Yeshua stood on  holy ground where ever He walked, so instead of people having to walk up the mountain, suffer the elements, do without the comforts of “home”, Rabbi Yeshua walked among them.  He spoke to them in their language.  Yet, He knew exactly what choosing that “cup” held in store for Him at the end of His journey on this pitiful world. He spoke this old commandment to those around Him.

A new covenant to Love.  Love more than you think possible. Love that endures beyond hurt.  Love that forgives over and over again. Love that originated with the One who loved us first.  The One who taught us to Love.

I like to sometimes play with words.  In my head, I substitute “humankind” for “Lord your God”  and KNOW that is the commandment that Jehovah-Raah follows in His beautiful, peaceful, eternal kingdom. So…is it really so hard to follow His first commandment in our war-torn, stressful, finite kingdom?

“ ‘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.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”