Mark 12:28-34

Mark 12:28-34 is the core of who we are as Christians. We are called to be, speak and live love. It has always been the vision of god for God's people. The book of Ruth demonstrates that Ruth, not a Jew, converted to Judaism due to the love of her mother-in-law. Her example of faith gives her, a woman a place in the Hebrew scripture.

Love is so central. The young scribe knew what Jesus was teaching. He understood that the centrality of faith was to love the Lord your God with all your mind, with all your heart and you shall love your neighbour as yourself. When the scribe said this to Jesus, Jesus said to him that you are not far from the Kingdom of God. Why didn't Jesus say to the scribe "you are in the Kingdom"? It is because that we must do love-not just talk love!

That is why the modern Anglican Church has adopted an inclusive vision of who God loves. We have come to the realization that God loves all of God's creation. No one is outside of God's love. We as a diocese include people of different faith traditions as all holding God's favour. All faithful people are a part of the realm of God be they Jewish, Muslim, or whatever group, as well as Christians. We believe that males and females, all skin colours, orientations and languages and cultures are to be loved and are loved as equals. We are called to act this out in our everyday actions.

It is challenging to re-orientate old teaching and prejudices but that is Jesus call to action in 2018. We in doing this are populating the Kingdom of God.