Friday, August 15, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Freedom for Justice

Exodus 23:1-9

Betty Vattakunnel
When children or even adults first hear the words “rules” or “commands” there is something inside of us as human beings that either pay attention or others may cringe. Rules have been set in our lives since we were young, “don’t touch that”, “no talking in church”, “you cannot run in the halls”. We are all too familiar with rules, but the connotation that is placed with rules or commands are at times negative. We as human beings tend to seek to do what we want to according to our own will. When we are confined by rules we find it restricting. In the Old Testament, from the very beginning of time with Adam and Eve, God gave them one command not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Because of the deception of the serpent, Adam and Eve fell into a sinful direction viewing God’s command as a restriction rather than protection or freedom from the bondages of sin. Sin leads us to have bondages in our lives and at times it can be crippling in a human beings life and relationship with God. The law/rules were put in place in order to be a guiding principle for protection and as a light to the path towards eternal life that is found in Jesus Christ. In Galatians 3:24 it is stated that “…the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” Solely the act of obeying the law does not bring us freedom, but it can be a guidance towards faith through an inwardly change.
In the Old Testament God gave the 10 Commandments to the Israelites. The Bible portion today highlights a set of commands/rules that they had to live by and one that promoted just living towards one another. This set of ‘laws’ concentrated on one’s behavior towards others and correlates with New Testament teachings of loving your neighbor as thyself. It has many “do nots” in this Old Testament portion while the New Testament commands what you should do. It is a good reminder for us to understand how important is to treat others justly like Christ has taught us to. We must take time to think of others, especially the oppressed, the poor, the aliens, and even our enemies because they too are children of God just as we are. In doing so, we find freedom through these laws. These laws guide our thoughts towards others which in return give us freedom from sin and bondage and more Christ like living not only outwardly, but inwardly through faith.

Thought for the day:

Just as justice and mercy has been given to us so freely through His grace, may we learn to do the same to others around us on a daily basis.

Prayer: Father God, we thank you for the word of God that you have blessed us with. We thank you that we have both the Old Testament and New Testament to fully see the way you worked amongst humankind from law to freedom through faith in Christ. God thank you for the guidance that the law provides and the saving grace through your Son. Help us to reflect upon your law as a guidance rather than restriction and freedom rather than bondage. AMEN. 

Trinity MTC, Houston