Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love Letters from Mt Sinai

DAY 18
God Law Filled Love Letter

My friend Dan is a youth pastor. Dan was telling the kids about about Jesus feeding the multitude with the loaves and the fish. He was making a correlation between Jesus’ miracle and and the way God can do powerful and crazy things in our lives. Dan asked the kids to think of some examples of things they could pray for, areas they were hoping God would do something amazing. My favorite party of the story was the response of one of Dan’s Ninth Graders. Charleigh raised her hand and simply replied, “Jesus multiplied the loaves in the fish?, Like out of thin air?, Like some kind of magic trick?”.

I think what Charleigh was articulating was a sentiment that resonates with many of us. Sometimes we’re so busy digging out the deeper truths that we miss the beautiful STORY of the Gospel. I believe both approaches are valuable, but what seems to happen is that many believers spend years under life application teaching and miss out on the power of the larger narrative. I know for me as a teacher there is a constant tension to find that balance. It’s a tension that Jesus walked through so beautifully, referencing the Hebrew Scriptures, using parables, and making bold direct points.

Recently I was talking with a friend of mine, who is an assistant at the Sister church of the ministry I work with. She and I were discussing some different spiritual topics and the subject of “The Law” came up. What is the law, and why are we so afraid of if? Sometimes in an attempt to simplify things our theology gets diluted down to speaking points and Jesus covered catch phrases. Which is where we get ideas like, “I live by the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law.” or “I’m a son I’m not a slave” , or even “We’re not under the law anymore, I live by grace”. None of which are necessarily bad statements. In fact they are amazingly powerful, beautifully rich statements when you know the 4000 years of history associated with them.

What is the Law? Imagine a nation that has spent 400 years in slavery. Uneducated, worked to the bone, and unfamiliar with anything other than the culture of their captures. This is where we find Israel as Moses leads them out of Egypt. Leveticus is a book often overlooked because it’s full of awkward and sometimes disgusting lists of things to stay away from. But the Levitical law wasn’t Gods way of taking people out of one form of slavery and placing them in another. It was a love letter to an otherwise ignorant group newly freed Hebrews. A way to protect the people that He cared so much about. (TO BE CONT>>>)

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