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Sunday, May 2, 2021 8:13 AM

Rules & Boundaries -- March 2,2021

Sunday, May 2, 2021 8:13 AM
Sunday, May 2, 2021 8:13 AM

Exodus 20:1-20

The Ten Commandments that serve as the basis for this scripture are a set of rules given to guide a community’s interaction with God and with one another. The rules provide a moral compass that is centered in justice and the fair treatment of others. There will be no separation of religion from civic and political responsibility informed by faith in God.

What the Ten Commandments make clear is that we are not free to simply do as we choose or how we feel. The people are reminded that their freedom from bondage did not come as a result of their effort but was because of the power of God working on their behalf.

Just as God cared for them, God is concerned about others who may be oppressed as well. Therefore, Israel was to adapt rules and polices that would help to prevent oppression within the community.

Many of the rules told the community what not to do. Do not create an environment that takes advantage of persons. Do not build gods in your image that are easier to serve and less demanding. Do not let work completely define your life robbing you of opportunities of rest and worship.

The rules were given for the good of the community and to provide an example of what God expected from a people who bear his name. In a world that champions personal freedom, rules are often seen as obstacles. However, without boundarie,s the picture that we color is distorted. Without boundaries, the waters overflow us and gravity would not be able to hold us.

We need rules just as we need grace, for the rules help us to see the other side of grace. It is the side of God telling us what he expects of us in advance.

The season of Lent gives us another opportunity to ponder the place of rules and how we might choose to follow a moral compass centered in a God who expects us to conduct ourselves with justice.

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