"We must trust, though we seem alone, there are others walking with us."

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 279: Rules

Today's Reading: Mark 2

Remember when you were a little child and rules seemed an everyday part of your life? I remember that they were not only the stuff life was made of, they seemed so clear.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Brush your teeth.

Say "please" and "thank you."

Obey your parents.

To tell you the truth, I never much analyzed rules. I just knew I should follow them. In many ways, that keeps life simple.

Often, when we want to become God pleasers, we think, "If I just follow rules X, Y and Z, I'll be OK." Perhaps the rules to obey in your life have to deal with what you wear and put on your body, the length of your hair, the use or non use of makeup. Maybe your rules deal mostly with what you eat or drink; what you allow or do not allow into your body. For others the rules are about what one can say and how one can say it, or even who has the right to speak.

Sometimes it is easier to follow a set of rules than it is to follow Christ. Legalism has always been a temptation for even the most alert Christian.

The ones in the Gospel who were really trying to please God felt they were on the right and righteous path by keeping the Law. And they were. Until the rules became the LORD instead of the LORD becoming LORD of the rules.

In chapter two of Mark, we see good people blinded by good intentions. They thought they had become masters of the rules. Instead, the rules had become their masters. So much so that when the one who fulfilled all the Law and the prophets stood right in front of them, they were blind.

Chapter two teaches us that Jesus is LORD over sin, sinners and even Sabbath. Not that he breaks the Law, but fulfills the Law in the perfect understanding and living out of those laws.

I often wonder...would I recognize Jesus if he walked in my church today in human form? Would I adore him?

Or would he offend me?

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