Laws of Relationship

Good morning, Y’all! How is your week shaping up? We’ve had so much rain lately and the very last thing I want to do is to complain about it, but it sure has been nice to have some sunshine these past two days! It really does wonders for my mood. I pray that your coffee is sufficient and the sunshine draws you outside for a little vitamin D therapy so that our collective outlook is improved!

There seems to be a prevailing current these days that says if we just make enough laws then everyone will be a good person and our lives will be better. After God gave the ancient Israelites the Ten Commandments, it took 613 more laws for them to work out all the details they thought would prevent the breaking of the original ten. And people still found loopholes and ways to still do what they wanted to do for themselves all the while justifying their behavior with the law.

Laws don’t magically create good people. Good people modeling good behavior together as a collective group are what shapes and forms our culture and society for the better. It is our human character and how we see our fellow human beings that really guides our behavior, not an external set of laws.

The Ten Commandments are about how we live, collectively, in relationship with God and with each other. There is nothing in them that teaches or enforces an individualistic, “what’s in it for me” kind of life. Jesus tells us that he came to fulfill the law not to do away with it. God’s law is all about relationship and Jesus models for us how to live for the greater good of all people.

“Don’t even begin to think that I have come to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I haven’t come to do away with them but to fulfill them. I say to you very seriously that as long as heaven and earth exist, neither the smallest letter nor even the smallest stroke of a pen will be erased from the Law until everything there becomes a reality. Therefore, whoever ignores one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do the same will be called the lowest in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps these commands and teaches people to keep them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19, Common English Bible

We’ve heard so much (mostly in very angry voices) about our personal liberties these past few years. And I’ve also heard from some of the same folks who are angry their personal liberties are in danger that we are a Christian nation. Yet, I can’t find a way, in all of the words of Jesus, the apostles’ letters, or even in the ancient teachings of the Hebrew prophets to reconcile these two thoughts. Jesus doesn’t teach us about protecting our personal liberties but living together for the greater good of everyone.

It has become so challenging to wrap our 21st century, American minds around the concept that real freedom, the true life God created and desires for us to live as Beloved Children of the Kingdom, comes only through loving relationship with others. We are most fully human in community, speaking of and to each other with compassion not anger.

Together, we can participate with God in bringing about the reality of God’s Kingdom on earth as in heaven. Together, following Jesus on the Way of Love, we can make our lives better by being who and whose we are created to be.

God’s peace be with you, my friends!

2 thoughts on “Laws of Relationship

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