Over the past six weeks of our summer journey we’ve reflected on Jesus as our bread of life and the need to make a clear decision for Christ and allow Him to direct our lives enriching us and sustaining us in and through a share in His divine life.
Today we find ourself before God’s law. From the book of Deuteronomy, the book of second law, we here Moses telling the people,
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live,”
Living according to God’s law was unique to Israel. This is what set Israel apart from other nations. Although other nations were larger, more cultured, wealthier but Israel was the the nation that lived by the Law given to them by God. Life lived by God’s law was promising to bring great abundance and blessing, but the people had to be willing to observe to the Law of the Lord their God and the would experience the bounty of God’s love for His people.
We too after here about “Law and Order”. we often place law and order above and of highest value, calling our nation a nation of laws. To truly live the law of love, it must lead us to justice and right relationship with God and one another. And in seeking justice and righteousness sees in a law that seeks to deny this justice conflicts with God’s law. Therefore it isn’t law at all. True law must lead to justice. We hear this as the psalmist writes. “The one who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.”. True life and living God’s Love ultimately brings about justice. The right and good concern for the other is the path to justice. It is when we are willing to see if those on the peripheries an opportunity to seek to make things right, that their needs are met, they are included.“Whoever walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart” psalm15:4
God’s word encourages us to true Living that comes about when we are willing to live in love. God blesses and anoints our lives for His ultimate good. We are blessed when we seek to live in love and do justice. James tell us “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,”. Giving our lives over to God working through us brings great blessing over our lives. James in his letter is teaching us to be disposed to the Word of God impacting, shaping and transforming our lives.
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
This welcome of the word that God has placed in and over our lives brings salvation to our souls and our lives and those that we encounter are made whole. But it must demand allowing God to act in and through us in an openness to actually putting God’s word intoaction. So often we treat God’s word as nice words, yet fail to allow it to truly change and transform us. God’s law of love is His word written on our hearts has the ability to effect transformation of lives when we take God seriously, God is able to fulfill His word over our lives and to ultimately live his law of love as we strive for a more just world where all people are respected and valued.
I am reminded of the prophet Jeremiah “
“See, days are coming—oracle of the LORD—when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.r32It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke my covenant, though I was their master—oracle of the LORD.s33But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days—oracle of the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.t
Today I am reminded that on August 28th 1963 58 years ago Dr Martin Luther King Jr stood for justice and sought to right the wrongs of unjust laws and practices. This march that gave us his “I have a dream”speech led the way to the 1965 Voting Rights act that prevented discrimination in voting. These hard fought rights and justices are being quickly erased as state governments again seek to restrict voting. We cannot talk about living God’s Law of Love, unless we are willing to confront the injustices that are put in place to prevent those on the peripheries of our society from exercising their freedoms and rights as citizens. Living God’s Law of love is real, standing for justice is real, seeking equal rights is real!
This has been a reflection and movement in process. Ultimately looking into God’s law of freedom in St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians chapter 5 he teaches us instructs us:
“For you were called for freedom, brothers.j But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve* one another through love.For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. I say, then: live by the Spirit.”
The Christian by the very nature of both their calling and baptism are thrust outward, put of themselves and find themselves embracing the very struggle of his sister or brother on the peripheries.
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”. When we are seeking to live the Law love in doing justice whose benefit are we seeking? Is this for our Good as well as the good of those marginalized? Does it open opportunities for those shut out on the peripheries? Are they valued, seen as posing great dignity, are they seen as worthy of to be a part of their own solutions? What true love does is it closes the gaps and leaves all of us standing with those on the peripheries seeing them as women and men whole and united possessing the same love.