This is the sermon from Sunday morning worship on November 4, 2018. The text was Mark 12: 28-34 (included below). It was a full Sunday at GPMC: new members, children as liturgists, communion, special choral music and All Saints’ Sunday. This made for a short sermon. It was also approximately a week after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, where 11 men and women were killed by an anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant shooter. At the 5:00 p.m. service, Peter also spoke of the book “Rising Out of Hatred,”by Eli Saslow. It is the story of a young white nationalist who was loved into renouncing his ways by two Jewish men and an immigrant who wouldn’t give up on the white nationalist or the idea that love can overcome hate.
Mark 12: 28-34
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ Then the scribe said to him, ‘You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that “he is one, and besides him there is no other”; and “to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength”, and “to love one’s neighbour as oneself”,—this is much more important than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ After that no one dared to ask him any question.