Thursday, March 6, 2014

Making a choice

On this second day of Lent we are given a simple, binary choice.

Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom....Choose Life.

On the surface it sounds like hyperbole; it sounds like God is going to kill us if we break the law. But it is really something much more profound.

We are created by God. We are created in the image and likeness of God. God knows us better than we know ourselves.

God law is not an imposition; it's the owners manual. And the question is do you want to have a life? Not just and existence, but a full human life, the life God intended you to have.

A perfect example are the dietary laws. Moses and the people of Israel had no idea why. We can now look back and see good reasons why the laws made sense. The laws for washing—in a world where water was precious to the people a around them it seemed crazy. We understand perfectly well why you should wash yourself, and dishes, and pots and pans.

The hard part is we can't accept our ignorance. When there are parts of God's law we still don't understand, rather than trusting God, we want to ignore the rules we don't understand.

Something as simple as Sabbath. For our Jewish brothers and sisters it is Saturday, for us the Lord's Day, Sunday. Go ahead don't observe the Sabbath, work seven days a week, run around like a crazy person. Then tell me about the quality of your life, the quality of your marriage, the relationships with family and friends. Tell me about that emptiness inside, where your relationship with god ought to be.

God built us and has given us the instructions about how to live a full, truly happy life, not just how to exist, which is what many of us today are doing.

But as this reading reminds us, the choice is ours. We can go on ignoring the instructions, but we are choosing death. Not just, last judgement death, but physical, emotional, spiritual death in the here and now.

We are neither animals nor machines. We are human beings, both physical and spiritual. We were created to be in relationship, with God and others. This lent it is time to reclaim our lives.