For today, read Exodus 23 & 24
But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries…. (Exodus 23:22).
Raise your hand if your love rules. Anyone? Anyone? Yes! I see that hand of the Type A personality sitting in the back.
Think about this for a minute. If you’re God, the all-powerful God of the universe, and your business is restoring fallen humankind and healing all of creation, how would you do it? If you could snap your fingers and fix everything, why do it with these laborious lists of things to do and not do?
I really wonder if the laws in Exodus here are kind of like a cast. If you’ve ever broken a bone, the doctor puts some kind of splint or cast on your broken limb. It’s something rigid, but it promotes healing and healthy growth.
What if, at this stage of the rehabilitation of the human soul, these laws in Exodus are exactly what’s needed? It’s a nice thought, but what about us? What does Jesus have to do with this?
I think it’s that Jesus meets us right what we’re at. That’s what Advent and the Incarnation are all about. God being with us, right where we are. Even before we can do anything at all to make ourselves worthy.
And God meets these Israelites right where they are. Imagine where they are. This is the first time gives any hint at the kind of life he made them for. If you’ve spent any time at all around a young toddler, think of the things you have to tell them that seem like common sense to a teenager. Don’t stick your hand in the electrical socket. Or maybe you remember your mom freaking out because you wandered within 50 feet of a busy street.
These are words for a particularly people in a particular place. And I wonder if this rules and laws are anything like the things we tell toddlers. I wonder if the Law is in extraordinary gift of grace.