“There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Priest who was killed in the Holocaust, writes in “God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas” (translated by O C Dean Jr.): “Jesus stands at the door knocking….In total reality, he comes in the form of the beggar, of the dissolute human child in ragged clothes, asking for help. He confronts you in every person that you meet. As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbor, as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you….Christ is standing at the door….Do you want to close the door or open it?”

In the seventeenth chapter of the 1955 novel “The Last Temptation of Christ”, Nikos Kazantzakis narrates an all-night conversation between John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ — a conversation during which they “held the world in their hands, deliberating what what do with it.”

John tells Jesus that “The tree is rotten” and asks Jesus to take the axe and strike at the roots of the tree.

Jesus responds: “If I were fire, I would burn; if I were a woodcutter, I would strike. But I am a heart, and I love.”

In the Gospel according to Mark (12:28-21), Jesus is asked “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus replies with two commandments, saying that “There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The first commandment is loving God; the second:

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Merry Christmas 😊

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