October 6, 2019, Deuteronomy 4:1-14 – Post 2

When we closed on Monday I asked for us to think about the different commands we “keep” and the different places these might arise from.

If didn’t take me long on my drive to work to notice a lot of statutes/ordinances that rule my driving down the roads as I travel to work. Speed limit signs, yield signs, do not enter, no turn on red, no passing …. How about you? How many rules do you have to obey as you drive from one place to another.

And then … at work. My job description, my work hours, how I sign in once I am at work. Yes, there is certainly a set of rules/commands that govern how I spend my time in there.

And when I get home? What are the spoken and unspoken rules and agreements that tell me how to get along with my family?

There is little doubt that we keep in mind many rules/statutes/ordinances/commands (call them what you will) that determine how we live our lives and even the positive and negative consequences of our keeping or failing to keep them.

But, many of these may apply in only one environment.

What are the commands that apply in any and all environments. Which ones can be universalized?

On Monday I mentioned that a question or two about commandments was put to Rabbi Jesus.

In what we read as the 10th chapter of the Gospel according to Mark there is the episode of a man coming to Jesus to ask about eternal life and the Kingdom of God. Jesus first response is to name several of what we most often call the “Ten Commandments.” So, commandment keeping is a good thing according to Jesus.

How does the man reply?

That he has been a commandment keeper all his life.

Does the conversation end there? No! Jesus must have seen something in the man’s expression and heard something in his voice that betrayed the lack of satisfaction the man had in the life he was living. He came to Jesus to not just be told to keep the commandments but to ask Jesus to pinpoint what was missing in his life. And Jesus’ response to his unspoken plea? “Leave everything in your life that holds you back from walking my path and following me in the Kingdom.” (Pardon my paraphrase)

Now, go over to our chapter 12 of Mark’s recording of the Gospel, and notice Jesus giving his opinion of what are the great commandments. He does not recount any of the Ten Commandments but speaks of loving God and loving those we encounter each day and even loving our own self.

Love ? Really ? Is this part of commandment keeping? Is rote rule keeping not the full story? Does there have to be something more?

Allow me to mention another couple of sentences from Scripture. This time from 2 John 1:5-6 (The Message Translation) –

“But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other. Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed.”

“ … our original and basic charter ….”
“ … his unifying commandment …. “

What do you think?

Is that a fair and accurate statement about the life Jesus asked his disciples to live?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

This entry was posted in ISSL, Scripture and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *