Monday, March 5, 2012

Lent 3b - Genesis 20:1-20

I know that well-meaning people believe posting the Ten Commandments in public spaces will help society adhere to them but if clearly posting laws at regular intervals meant compliance there would be fewer speeding tickets. The Ten Commandments were given to the people of Israel after their cries for freedom were answered. “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the house of slavery.” Relationship with God is the foundation upon which the commandments stand and the only way to begin to live them is to remember that God acted first. Which means every “thou shall” or “thou shall not” needs to be prefaced with a “therefore” as in “I am the Lord your God” therefore… When we understand the commandments from the standpoint of a loving relationship with the God who rescued people for no other reason than their desperate cries prompted merciful action the commandments can be understood as a gift to be lived and not a rigid rule to regulate life or a burden we must bear to be accepted. We love God above all else and honor the name that is holy setting aside a day of rest because God loved us first. All the rules for living with each other depend on how well we live with God as in “You are my people that I love, therefore… love each other.” Jesus said it best. Love God. Love neighbor.

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