Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Challenge Continues, Day 65: Deuteronomy 4-6; Psalm 54; Luke 12

<p><b>Don't worry...keep awake...</b><br>
...and live a just life, As complicated as the prospect of living a life of faith can seem in a society that too often seems to encourage us to live at cross purposes with God's will, the call to covenant with God is quite simple: Love God with all your being while loving your neighbor as yourself. There are particular manifestations of what to do in particular situations that arise in life, but both Moses and Jesus strive to put a human face on a standard of living that God calls for from those to whom covenant is gifted. A way of living is set before us, at Sinai with Moses and in Christ for any who would call themselves disciples of the Human One. Our calling is simple: don't over stress the rules, but live within covenant with God and each other; don't worry about what might happen next, but live with mercy and an expectant heart; keep awake, for the kingdom is breaking in and it is good that God should find us awake and waiting upon arrival. In all this effort, strive to live a just life. Being connected with God means being connected to the world around us, and all that is in it.</p>
<p>Jesus is teaching some hard-core truth today about the Good News. He speaks directly to how we are called to live, and to the ways we can stumble along the way. He touches the core of our being and names the greatest stumbling blocks we are bound to trip over as we rush to answer the call to follow in his footsteps. In order to dwell confidently in the grace of God, we need to let go of worry and all that attaches to us through it. In order to live in expectation of God's imminent arrival, we have to always be ready and awake to the present moment--for God is always arriving unannounced. So that God finds us awake, non-anxious and ready to receive, we need to embrace lives that are just. We can't indulge in worry. We can't slough off or lag about when there is kingdom work to be done. We can't fall asleep on this watch, and paramount to all of it is the objective of being agents of God's justice in the here and now.</p>
<p>Moses reminds the people of Israel that God's commandments are meant for them, to keep them in alignment in covenant with God. They are also signs to the nations that God is present, speaking, active here in the world through the witness of Israel's embrace and practice of laws that define a primary and vital connection to a Divine Presence that is historic and immanent. This is a heritage to pass on to children, and to the children's children: what is the meaning of this call? To remember that we were all slaves, and that God took action and delivered us to new life. To remember that the cost of that deliverance was a call to fidelity, to a life of covenant. We show our love and gratitude to God for that gift of life by choosing a life in covenant.</p>
<p>Life in Christ is in so many ways built upon that model of Covenant as an invitation to a life lived in God is extended to all nations and peoples. As we walk upon the road of life, if we keep a faithful practice in Christ then a material witness is made by which people can follow, experience and know rebirth in the new life God is calling us all into living: to set aside worry, to embrace expectation of grace and to seek a just world.</p>
<p>Faith is so much more than just a confession of belief, as we hear in the testimony of scripture today: it is a call to "walk the talk." Faith is a life lived completely in the present, in continuity with the past and in hope for what will yet be...all in all wrapped up in a total embrace of God embracing and loving us into being.</p>

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