I got up with a desire to make something beautiful for God today, some kind of visual art thing that would express something of how much I love him. That got me thinking about how we show love to people in general, and to God. It connected in my mind with someone I know whose birthday it was yesterday, who made an interesting, and very very lovely, request: do something nice for someone, he asked, give a donation to charity or do something to brighten someone else’s day, and that will make me smile.
And this isn’t a guy who lives some sort of super spiritual life on some distant mountaintop, this is a totally ordinary bloke who enjoyed the cake and balloons from his wife and was looking forward to having a few pints with his mates in the evening. It’s not that he doesn’t value the stuff that normally comes with birthday celebrations – it’s both/and. Which is, I feel, very similar to how it is with God. It’s not that God won’t be pleased if I make something beautiful for him, but he wants both/and, he wants me to do things for other people and when I behave lovingly towards someone else, it makes him smile.
Jesus said: “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27)