Monday, August 24, 2015

Pentecost 14 B - Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
It sounds fairly straightforward. Obey and live. Don’t and die. For some it was as simple as that. But then the wise and discerning people figured out that going through the motions worked just as well so that God speaking through the prophet Isaiah laments, “these people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” (29:13) Maybe it was the do or die that confused them. That’s not the best basis for a relationship. Of course there are consequences and rewards in any relationship but what God earnestly desired was for people’s hearts to be close because they wanted to be close; because they remembered when they were slaves in Egypt God heard their cry; because God led them through the waste land and did not abandon them even though continually complained. It turns out the burden God bears are the people God loves. And so God continually reworks what the relationship is supposed to look like – dumbing it down if you will. Like the prophet Micah speaking for God - how about if you just act justly; love mercy, and walk humbly with me. Would that work for you?  (6:8) Jesus reduces the whole of scripture and the 613 mosaic laws to two - love God and love neighbor.  Now if we do that we’d really be wise and discerning and I bet folks would notice. So take care and watch yourselves in such a way that you love the God you cannot see as best you can and love the neighbor you can see even a little better.  

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