Scot McKnight, in his simple, yet powerful and provocative book, The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others, points out how Jesus changed the Shema, which was the confession of Israel. To love God continued to be at the center, but Jesus included with that the directive, from the Pentateuch (from Leviticus) to love one's neighbor as oneself. Jesus also changed the Jewish prayer, the Kaddish, reflecting the change he had made from the Shema, in the "Our Father" or "Lord's Prayer".
The Shema we can take to be the new confession of Jesus' followers, the Jesus Creed. Yes, it's a command, but it's likewise a confession. As Scot tells us in the book, as we learn to repeat it daily, just as Jesus and all religious and faithful Jews of Jesus' day recited the Shema, God can help us more and more make it a reality in our lives. And as we pray the "Our Father" prayer, we end up praying God's will. Not our own. The prayer reflects the Jesus Creed, and is really a prayer from God in that we are asking what God wants. It is good for us to recite that prayer, as well as hang our own thoughts and prayers on it, praying from it. This is not to say that we shouldn't be praying many other prayers. But it is saying that this can help us pray more, according to God's will.
I am once more rereading the book in preparation for reading Scot's 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed, which I plan to do during Lent season, which begins February 25, Ash Wednesday (in Western Christendom, the Eastern Church's calendar is a little different) and ends this year April 11, 46 days later (Sundays are excluded in the count), Easter Sunday being April 12. So I plan to read prayerfully, with intentions for Christian formation in my life, Scot's book written for a 40 day period, and I think quite fitting for Lent.
Anything you would like to add? And has anyone read either of these books?