Wednesday of the third week of Lent
Dt. 4:1, 5-9
Ps. 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
The readings for the day can be found here.
Today’s readings call us to reflect on our obedience to the commandments set forth by God. It is clear that these statutes and decrees are good for us to observe so that “we may live”. Jesus confirms in Matthew 5 that He “has not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them”.
I know that these are good and yet I also realize how incapable I am of following them completely. Amazingly, Jesus did live the perfect life, right down to the “love your enemies” part as he was being crucified on the cross. Why is it then that we so easily fall short of what we are called as Christians to be? For me, my relationship with my kids has given me insight in my relationship with God. As a father, I’m called to keep my kids safe and help them to grow up to become caring, successful adults. This requires setting boundaries for them and enforcing those boundaries with the occasional “no” or “please don’t do that”. These request are then occasionally followed by a “why dad” (if it’s a good day) or an attempt to do it anyway (if it’s a not so good day). While I know that I have my kids best interest at heart, at times there is this inherent disobedience they show, as if to say “I got this dad – it’s under control – I don’t need your boundaries”. And then it hits me and I realize that this is exactly what I tell God when I try to do things on my own.
Why are God’s ethical admonitions so important? Because God loves us and wants us to be fruitful. Thankfully we don’t have a God that says I’ll love you when you learn to obey my words completely. No, we have a God that says I love you now, the way you are. During this time of Lent I am thankful that Jesus is our intercessor. He took on our sin through the cross and washed us clean. We are called righteous not through our own glory but through God.
Eric Anderson is Director of Campus Recreation.