Love Fulfills God’s Law

Psalm 78:1-7, Romans 13:8-10           May 1, 2022    

“Give ear, o my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.” The psalm we heard this morning is a teaching song, providing insight on how to live a life of faith.  It echoes some of the wisdom writings of the Old Testament like the book of Proverbs.  Psalm 78 is unusual in that it is addressed to the people and not as a prayer to God.  It is the second longest psalm in the Bible with 72 verses!

The bulk of the psalm is a historical recounting of the life of the people of Israel, but the first section, which we read this morning, sets the stage for that history with a call to pass on the commandments of God and testimony to the works of God to the next generation. The ‘children yet to be’ need to be told who God is, what God has done, and what God expects of them.  They need to be told that they can place their confidence in God.  We find in this psalm just one example of a familiar theme wound through many books of the Hebrew Bible—follow the commandments of God, teach them to the next generation, for the commandments (or the law) bring life.  Remember the teaching of Moses in Deuteronomy: “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord with all your heart, and with all you soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.  Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.” 

Continue reading “Love Fulfills God’s Law”

Repair Work:  Love in Action 

3.27.22 John 12:1-7        

            Mary was never stingy with her love for Jesus.  She poured it out visibly, not holding back.  Maybe you remember a scene in Luke’s gospel when she and her sister Martha also hosted Jesus in their home. Martha is busy “hostessing” and Mary is seated at Jesus’ feet, focused on what he has to say.  In our reading this morning, her love is a visible action, again at his feet, anointing him with a very expensive perfume. Mary puts her money where her heart is.

When we want to encourage ourselves or someone else to make more than a verbal a commitment to something, we might say, “put your money where your mouth is”.  Talk is cheap.  Action is not. In our Lenten focus on repair work between ourselves and others, between ourselves and God, we must recognize that taking meaningful, intentional action to repair the breach between us is expensive.  It costs us time and money, it requires an emotional investment, it calls for spiritual reflection and prayer.

Continue reading “Repair Work:  Love in Action “