Archive for June 11th, 2006

Do as I Say, Do as I Do

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

Please read Galatians 3:19-29, (NRSV) (The Message) out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (David Zier):

Did your parents ever tell you things like these:

  • Don’t eat too many sweets,
  • Don’t talk to strangers,
  • You need to be in bed by 9:00 pm,
  • Only one hour of TV on a school night, or
  • Do as I say and not as I do?

Remember not following the rules and the consequences that would follow? We needed rules to give us structure, provide boundaries, and teach us right from wrong. Our parents gave us rules because they loved us, not because they really enjoyed making up rules and punishing us.

Today’s reading tells us that, before Faith (before Jesus), we were provided rules from God. These rules, or Laws, provided the boundaries and structure for God’s people, the Israelites, to be aware of how to live successfully and flourish as a people. God provided these rules out of love just as our parents do when we are young. These Laws were God’s protection — to make Israel aware of how to live and aware of transgressions.

When Jesus came, He taught us that loving others as ourselves is the most important law. Jesus also said that the most important spiritual principle is “love”. Jesus did not replace the Law, but came to fulfill it. By doing as he said, and teaching us how to be followers of God and to love each other, he was providing the example to live as disciples of Christ.

Now think about it. If we treat each other with love, and we truly love and care for one another, will we not be upholding the Law? Won’t we seek to do what is right, and seek guidance from the Bible, God and Jesus’ teachings? Jesus performed miracles on the Sabbath and was criticized by the religious leaders as breaking God’s Law since no work of any kind was allowed on the Sabbath. In reality, Jesus was showing us how to live spiritually, and not be confined by rules that keep us bound from God’s Love. Jesus was showing us how to live in that love.

By faith, we should seek to do as Christ would do. Praise God who first gave us the Law, then sent us Jesus, who showed us and taught us how to live. Praise our loving God, who provided us the ultimate fulfillment of the Law.

Thought for the day: Don’t live a life imprisoned by Law. Seek to live as Christ and live in the love that Jesus shows us.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: thanksgiving for a successful outcome on Robin Herman’s zoning variance hearing. She and her “Lucky Dog Retreat” were the prayer request for May 26.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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