Margaret Wayman, a good friend from our church family, sends birthday greetings to me with the verse that we sing in church for people’s birthdays: ‘ Happy Birthday to you, to your Savior be true, everyday read your Bible, Happy Birthday to you!’ Thanks, Margaret…and today I was reading my Bible (as I was sung to!) and turning to Luke 10:25-27. A top-notch religious leader comes to Jesus to test Him, trick Him, put Him off balance, whatever…with a loaded question: ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus, without any hesitation, tells this pious fellow to ‘Love the Lord’ with all you are and have, and ‘to love your neighbor as yourself’. Jesus didn’t make up His answer; it’s right out of the Old Testament. Nothing new really, but so little acted upon. That’s what our good friends from Australia, Jack and Maggie Littler, e-mailed me about yesterday(maybe today for them…I’m tempted to yell ‘ Aussie, Aussie, Aussie’ to them but they said they don’t know what it means and they’re originally from England anyway so I’ll keep my yell to myself!!) that what this sorry world needs lots of is L…O…V…E. I agree but much more importantly, Jesus would say ‘amen’. Just read Luke again for what He said. Jesus says it all, He covers everything. First, love the Lord. Without this starting point everything else goes askew at best. Loving God means so much…telling Him just that over and over and meaning it, obeying Him when we’d rather go our own way, following Him which means letting Him take the lead. And much more… that you can think of. Right? What about loving our neighbors? I know I could do a lot more here and it wouldn’t take too much imagination either. And I bet (and I’m not a betting man) that I’m not alone.The third leg of this chair: loving self? Maybe this is where our societies excel…loving ourselves. Focusing inward, navel-gazing as we used to say, the unholy trinity of me, I and myself. Self-obsessed. ‘It’s all about me’ bumper stickers, ad-nauseam. We have twisted what the Apostle John wrote in his first letter: ‘God is love’ (1 John 4: 8)–and now it’s ‘love is God’. So, first things first, the Lord as our primary priority. Numero Uno. Our greatest love, our goal about all else. The One above anything else. Then, when we love Him, we can’t help but care about those around us…even around the world. No barriers with loving neighbors. And of course this will be the very best way of taking care of and loving ourselves. It truly is better to give than receive. Wonder who said that? The same One who told us all about L…O…V…E. Thanks, Margaret, for the good reminder: ‘every day read your Bible’. And, Jack and Maggie, that love is so needed by us and the whole world. I’m thankful for good friends and the Great Friend to all of us who trust in Him, the Love of our lives now and forever! Jesus–‘to your Savior be true’!