Wednesday's Word: Pros and Cons, Fers and Agins, Yeps and Nopes

In reading through the book of Exodus one finds that following commands is an important part of a robust spirituality. In chapter 20 we read "you shall not" many times. We also read positive commands like, "Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy." From chapter 25-30 we read "you shall" over and over and over again. It is a blessed monotony. It is clear from Exodus that God is concerned with the brakes and the steering wheel, the pros and cons.

Seeing commandments as life giving is liberating. In the first chapter of Eugene Peterson's new work "Eat This Book" he writes, "Most of us carry around a handful of essential commands to keep us on track: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart...Love your neighbor...Honor your father and mother...Repent and believe...Remember the Sabbath... Be not anxious...Give thanks at all times...Pray without ceasing...Follow me...Go and tell...Take up your cross..." The list of life giving guidance is open to a good many more...s. Embrace God's commands. They will keep you on track.

A verse to consider: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27 NRSV

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