Monday, February 29, 2016

DJD229 - Two Positives

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Deuteronomy 11:18

Starting Question:

What is your favourite memory with your family?
What is your favourite memory with your church family?

Two Positives

Through Moses, God gave His people 10 laws by which to rule their community. Eight of them were new, and negative— do not, do not, do not. But two were positive reminders of the community rules set that first week of life on earth. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy... . Honour your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:8, 12). These are the two commandments that stand at the very heart of human community— family and resting in God.

Today, even more so, people are enamoured with sin, and God's wholesome ways have lost their appeal. Fragile and fragmented we continue living as marred mirrors, broken vessels, trying to live without God's laws and leading. We want to do life our way.

So, we life selfishly and never take time to rest. Or, if we have allowed the divine image to shape us enough to be participate in family and worship, we do it conditionally—still our way. We divorce at will and rest in whatever way and whatever day we see fit.

Sin has changed humanity. But, as Jesus said, God's law never changes: “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18).

We live in a world crowded with God — God's ever-expanding presence and promise is all around us and yet humanity chooses to avoid Him. These tired, frustrated people think they have all there is of life. Life seems hollow and broken and lonely—and they think that’s just the way it is.

God created us to experience the joy of living in true community. He gave Adam and Eve to each other and promised them the earth. Then He created a day, one holy day for one holy purpose, on which He promised He would stop His creative activity and commune with us.

I wonder if the couple in the garden recognised how precious what they had was before they lost it. I wonder how many times they looked back longingly at the garden and wished they were still sinless and naive. I wonder where the garden has gone, the peace, the worship, the community.

For thousands of years God has called His people back to community—back to unity—back into His image. And He continues to call today. But He won't make us obey. God never forces the human will.

He gives us complete freedom. And with freedom comes the daunting responsibility of choice. “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... . But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

The image of God is found in community— a community that honours unity, divine and human—both in marriage and in worship. Purity and permanence is how we honour the “one flesh” nature of marriage. Resting on the seventh day, in the presence of the resting Creator on His Sabbath, is how God wishes to be honoured. He asked us to remember. He asked us to honour. He wants us to enjoy community in perfect unity. That's His image, revealed.

Reflection Question:
How will you find rest and community this week with your family and church family?

Prayer time:
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?

Further Reading:
To Be Like Jesus, Page 66

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