Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2 B - Psalm 147:12-20

Psalm 147:12-20
The law of the Lord was a gift to Jacob and Israel even if they failed to abide by all its decrees. We tend to think of laws as restrictions that limit freedom even if some limit to freedom is a good thing. But the people of Israel thought of the law in terms of relationship. “I will be your God and you will be my people.” Set free from bondage in Egypt God gave them the law as an identity that made them unique among the nations and set them apart as a treasured possession of the Most High. If the law was God’s gift to the children of Israel then the children of Israel were the gift that God got. Perhaps God is not so unlike us in that respect. God desires the intimacy of human relationship that is freely given and received. Of course it was not all love and kisses as on more than one occasion God grew tired of the people called God’s own. “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist…” (Hosea 6:4) But as much as the law and decrees kept the people of Israel connected to God it was God’s promise to Abraham that kept God in the game. Even if they were children who misbehaved they remained God’s children. And so it is with us whose identity is found in the law of Christ which is the law of love. Love God. Love Neighbor. We might fail on both accounts but God’s love endures forever.

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