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"The Greatest Commands" sung by members of the Champaign Church of Christ in Illinois.
Voices Only
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Voices only: ‘The Greatest Commands’

Why plural? Because, when asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus gives us two.

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‘The Greatest Commands” has become a staple of church retreats, Christian camps and worship services since Janice Detweiler penned the four-part piece in 1973.

Here’s a wonderful version of the hymn, performed in pandemic “Zoom style,” from members of the Champaign Church of Christ in Illinois in 2021.

The song comes from the simple message of 1 John 4:7-12: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

You’ll also hear the words of Jesus in Matthew 27:37: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

From that place of love, fear and obedience all the other things flow — generosity, honesty, modesty, faithfulness.

We can’t measure God’s love. It’s so wide, deep, big, high. Embrace the love that God has for you so that you may be filled with the fullness of God, Also, reflect that same love for the people around you. As author Ben Stuart notes, love embraced becomes love expressed.

"The Greatest Commands" sung by members of the Champaign Church of Christ in Illinois.

“The Greatest Commands” sung by members of the Champaign Church of Christ in Illinois.

Why does this song talk about commandments, plural? Because, when asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus gives us two: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40).

As a fruit of love and reverence for God, love for each other will flow. Love is powerful!

What a cappella song do you find especially meaningful? Send us a video link and a short description of what the song means to you. We might use your selection in a future Voices Only.

DANIELA NEVES is a student at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City. She is a student worker for The Christian Chronicle and a translator for Luso-Africa Mission Partners (LAMP) International. She is from Lisbon, Portugal, and grew up in the Igreja de Cristo Lisboa (Lisbon Church of Christ)

 

 

Filed under: a cappella A cappella group A Cappella Hymns a cappella worship greatest commands Love one another Voices Only

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