Holiness in our midst – Session 6


One of my favorite Bible verses has always been: You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind, and with all of your strength. And you must love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke: 27). My verse was made even more meaningful and real recently when a guest preacher, Rev. Linda Hanson, was imparting it to the children at First Christian Church in Ames, IA.

To illustrate loving God with all of our hearts, she held up a big red paper heart. “What is this?” she asked. Dominic raised his hand, believing it to be a Valentine, and said, “Does it have my name on it?”

My thoughts went something like this: Yes, Dominic, I want to worship a Creator who has my name written on His/Her heart. And, thinking of our ongoing church future visioning process, I want to worship in a church where everyone’s needs, young and old, are at its heart.

To act out that we must love God with our mind, the guest preacher pointed to her head. “What is this?” she asked.

“Our brains,” Dominic said.

I thought: Yes, Dominic, I want to worship a God with my intellect and worship in a church where I don’t have to check my “brains” at the door.

To illustrate loving God with our strength, Rev. Hanson flexed her muscles. “What is this?” she asked. Dominic answered, “Bones?” Another child answered, “Muscles?”

I thought: I would like to love God with my whole body, with my bones, muscles, and all of the rest of me. I would like to love God viscerally.

Since that morning, with loving thanks to the children for deepening my faith and enlarging my personal vision for our church and my faith life, my daily prayer has been:

Lord, you have my name written on your very heart. Help me to love you with all of my brains and with all of my bones and muscles, and with my very Being. And help me to love my neighbor as myself. Amen.

STORY CIRCLE QUESTION: What is your favorite Scripture verse? Why?


  1. Read the above story.
  2. Ask yourself: What is my favorite Scripture verse?
  3. Reflect in your journal on why one verse stands out. Is there anyone who made it come alive for you?


  1. Read aloud Session VI.
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Question.

Ask: Has your favorite Scripture verse changed through the years? If so, share a previous one.