April 13, 2023
For thousands and thousands of years, our Jewish brothers and sisters have been praying the same words twice each day (every evening and morning):
Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
These words are known as the Shema and they are probably the most formational words in Jewish faith. They are also pivotal for Christian faith. After all, when Jesus was asked “What is the greatest commandment?” alongside the Book of Leviticus’ call to love thy neighbor, Jesus answered by quoting the Shema (see Mark 12:28-34).
Why would the Jewish people repeat these words over and over every day? Because there is power in us hearing words again and again. The words somehow take deeper and deeper root into our very souls, growing and nurturing newness within us.
For the next six weeks, we are going to be studying some of the major words in the Shema together. Each week, we will unpack one of these words and explore how we can learn more about God as we pray this prayer with each other. Furthermore, I am going to challenge each of us to pray the Shema twice daily for six weeks.
Additionally, each week we will be guided by a video from The Bible Project. It’s a nonprofit company that seeks to create free resources to help people learn more about God’s Word. You can watch their first video on the Shema here: Shema – Listen.
I am so looking forward to this sermon series, friends:
April 16 – Listen (Deuteronomy 6:1-9)
April 23 – YHWH (Exodus 34:1-9)
April 30 – Love (Deuteronomy 10:12-22)
May 7 (Children’s Sunday) – Heart (Psalm 19:1-11)
May 14 (Mother’s Day) – Soul (Psalm 42:1-11)
May 21 – Strength (Mark 12:28-34)