Friday, March 9, 2012

Lent 3b - Conclusion

The lessons for Lent 3b begin with the Ten Commandments and end with Jesus trashing the temple. In a similar contrast Psalm 19 is practically giddy about the perfect path of the Lord’s commands while the apostle Paul is equally passionate about the Christ of the cross who does away with what we do in favor of what God does for us. So which is it? Are we saved by what we do or by what has been done? As one of my seminary professors used to respond to such questions, “You’ve asked the wrong question.” The psalmist celebrating the perfect law while praying to be set free from hidden faults and presumptuous sins might be the way to understand what these lessons are all about. God intends the commands and ordinances to order our lives because living in such a way is a richer way to spend the short time we have breathing earth’s air, but whatever happens after that is all about the God that the cross reveals as worthy of trust. So we rely fully on the grace of God while living fully the law of the Lord. So which is it? Is it Law or Gospel? To which my seminary professor would simply say, “Yes.”

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