Rules are ingrained in our minds from a very early age. Rules are emphasized by parents, coaches, teachers, and all types of leaders in our lives. Rules are to be followed and not to be broken.
However, because we often interpret rules as “what not to do” they become less and less appealing to us as we grow older. We see it all the time in teenagers and young adults who blur the lines and test the waters just to see what might happen. Rules, when they become pushed on us, can simply be perceived as a power play. And once we get old enough we often don’t care about playing by the rules as much as we once did.
Because we are ingrained by rules so often throughout our lives, it is easy to lose sight of their intentions for our lives. The truth is, most rules are not there to punish us or to have power over us. They are simply there to guide us in communal life together. They are there to keep things in order and to keep us safe and healthy.
We see this in our scripture for this week that comes from Exodus 20:1-21 when God gives Moses the Ten Commandments. You may have learned these commandments as a child, but chances are they have lost importance in your life. They have become more and more unfamiliar throughout the years. Yet, if you take a close look at them, we can see the heart of God beneath the surface. The heart of these commandments is to shape the life of the Israelite community. It is to shape them in God’s love.
As we go throughout life, it’s important to understand the heart of God for us. God longs for us to live in and for love. God longs for our communities to be shaped in and by love. All the rules should stem from this core message.
Yes, some rules that WE (humans) have made are unjust and unfair, and truly are not shaped in or by love. They can be quite the opposite. It is our job as Christians and followers of Christ to understand and embody the heart of God. When we know the heart of God’s commandments for us, we are better able to live and lead in our communities.
This week, let us live by God’s rules, which are rooted in LOVE. Might we do all in our power to bring about love in our individual and communal lives. Might we each be shaped by God’s love for us and model that love for the world.
I hope you’ll join us this Sunday for worship at 11am in-person or online!
Peace and blessings,