Thursday, February 11, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Limit

five minute friday button five minute friday limit

Friday 12 February: Limit at Kate Motaung's welcome place. For FMF we write unedited for five minutes—at least one person calls it a writing/blogging "flash mob!"

I could write about self-imposed limits on social media involvement—a popular current topic all over the internet. [I recently wrote about it in limiting, consolidating.] Or go back to calculus class and discuss limits of a function. But this is a theology blog, so how about reminding myself and my readers how the Ten Words or Commandments of the Sinai covenant describe and define the borders, boundaries, limits, and extent of life together in covenantal community? I'll go with that one. You've heard of bounded freedom? That's part of the commandments' instructions to us. We freely can act, say, do, behave in a broad variety of ways as long as we don't cross the boundaries or limits the commandments outline. There's Martin Luther's almost incomprehensibly scarily truly comprehensive exposition of the Commandments in his Large Catechism, but Jesus of Nazareth didn't go there; Jesus summarized the limits and parameters of our interaction with other individuals and within community with what we call the great commandment:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind; Love your neighbor as yourself."

Many weeks Kate's word prompt reminds me of a currently or once-popular song. This week I thought of Thomas Troeger's hymn, "God Marked a Line and Told the Sea," and let's sing it to the tune "Kedron."

beach brights inverse colors

1. God marked a line and told the sea
its surging tides and waves were free
to travel up the sloping strand,
but not to overtake the land.

2. God set one limit in the glade
where tempting, fruited branches swayed,
and that first limit stands behind
the limits that the law defined.

3. The line, the limit and the law
are patterns meant to help us draw
a bound between what life requires
and all the things our heart desires.

4. But, discontent with finite powers,
we reach to take what is not ours,
and then defend our claims by force
and swerve from life's intended course.

5. We are not free when we're confined
to every wish that sweeps the mind,
but free when freely we accept
the sacred bounds that must be kept.


  1. I've never heard that song before, so cool! I'm in the 10 spot this week.

  2. beautiful... and i love the artwork. your own?

  3. Love the song!

    And the way Jesus simplified things...kind of wish He'd have taught me calculus. I got straight C's...and several years later found myself teaching theory of elasticity...with all sorts of special functions (anyone care for the Bessel function? No? Me neither!).

    32 at FMF this week.

  4. Love God and love others. No limits. I'm not familiar with that song. Thanks for sharing it with us. Bless you!

  5. Glad I stopped by this week from the FMF linkup. Thanks for the encouraging post. Have a blessed week coming up.

    ~#76 this wk


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