The Shema is a meaningful prayer in the Jewish faith, however I have come to question what would this world look if all believers in Yeshua were to fully keep this prayer to its fullest extent. If you are not already familiar with the Shema, it can be found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9
“ Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
This passage is found in the Torah. If you are a Christian, you may be reading this verse and be thinking, “How does this concern me as a Christ follower?” While you may not see the value in this passage because of the place that it was written in the bible, I argue that this piece of scripture holds the power to change the world if believers actively applied it.
A religious Jew would recite this prayer daily. Additionally, the words to this prayer is posted on the door frames throughout the home on an item called a Mezuzah. Traditionally when the door frame is walked through that piece of scripture is touched or kissed as a reminder of the essence of the prayer.
If you break down the Shema it can be broken down into two parts.
- Love God
- Take His commandments in a serious manner
Fundamentally, I question how would the church be different if completly loved God took His commandments as the Lord instructs in the Torah? If every day when we pass through the door frames of our homes when we are on our way to work, we were reminded to have the intention of keeping his commandments? As a Torah follower, I have found that the mitvahs that are scribed into His word are not a burdan but a great reminder that I can only follow His laws with the help and grace of Yeshua.
As a follower of Christ, keeping the Shema could be a reminder as closely as a religous Jew could teach us a few lessons.
- Love God (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
- Love others as Christ did because you love Him
But more importantly….
- Be set apart by keeping His ways
We are called to be set apart and I believe that keeping the Shema can be a way to achieve that. This world is full of chaos and it needs more of the love of God in it.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” – Romans 12:2-4
As always, I write with love. These are some simple thoughts that I have. I love feedback from readers and you can shoot me an email or message me on social media.
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