What better time than the Easter season to get back to basics and talk about the Art of Love? The basics I am talking about are the Ten Commandments, which are the cardinal rules given to Moses (Exodus 20). Then in the Gospel of Mark 10:17, Jesus is questioned by a rich man who asks, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responds, “You know the commandments, live them!” How much clearer can it be? The Ten Commandments are basic to all, both Jews and Christians, and if you look at other faiths, the fundamentals of the commandments can be found in them as well.
The Art of Love was inscribed on stone by God himself. Yes, the Art of Love gives us a track to run on. The first three commandments are really about our relationship with God. Look them up, only three deal with God! The one that I ask you to really think about is the third one: Keep Holy the Sabbath Day. Is it asking too much to give God an hour or two once a week? Just think about your parents when you think about this commandment. How would they feel if you did not contact them often?
I want to share a personal experience from when I was young and newly married. I was constantly told by my wife, Call your Mom!” My answer back then was, “Yeah, I will,” but guess what? It constantly slipped my mind and then one day I got a call from my mom. In her stern manner she said, “Don’t you love your father and me anymore?” That hit me between the eyes when she should have kicked my behind.
The key word she said was love. I took it for granted that she knew I loved them, but she needed a verbal acknowledgement of it. Just a simple phone call would have sufficed. Well, it is no different with God. He believes down deep that you love him, but all he asks for is a little time each week at his home where you can express your love. Just do it.
Here is something interesting. The last seven commandments are not about our relationship with God but about our relationship with others. Ten Commandments and only three deal with our relationship with God; the last seven are about our relationship with others. Read them and you will see they are simply stated. Jesus even made them simpler for us.
In Mark 12:29-31, Jesus was tested by the Pharisees who were trying to entrap him. They asked him a simple question: “What is the greatest commandment?” He answered, “The first, you shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” It can get any simpler than that.
If the world were to follow these, can you imagine what life would be like? I only ask that you follow them and lead by example. Yes, the Ten Commandments give us a track to run on and the Lord himself gave us this Art of Love. Happy Easter season!