Monday, February 28, 2005

Reflecting on the Law: Lent 2005

Exodus 20:1-17

Central to the freedom narrative in the book of Exodus is the Sinai Covenant – the Ten Commandments or Decalogue – with its guidelines for living in covenantal community, for worshiping as the people of God, and simply how to be the people of God. Instead of giving the Commandments during the years the Hebrews existed in slavery in Egypt or waiting until after the Israelites finally crossed the River into the Land of Promise, God wisely spoke from Mount Sinai and gave the Law during the long trek through the desert as the people Israel depended on manna from heaven and water from the rock: despite the wildness of the territory, Israel received the law and learned to live fully and worship with integrity on the way to Promised Land freedom. No, law doesn't redeem, law won't "buy back" – not God's law that guides our morals and rules behaviors in family and society, not humanly invented sacrificial law nor our local motor vehicle or real estate regulations or minimum wage laws! But those laws, codes, policies, regulations, or just plain unwritten "conventions," provide structures within which society can live with freedom and receive grace.

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