Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ritual law vs. the law of love

From Real Simple
I can't stop thinking about Easter. How I love the celebrations of life and resurrection. Being a follower of Jesus is so hopeful, so affirming. God with us. God for us. God in us. I've been profoundly affected by God's loving sacrifice this year.

How did the Easter season affect you? Did it change you at all? Did you pause to think about the implications of someone dying for us? Did you have the chance to ponder what life would have been life, had Jesus not come?

I wish I could remember where I read the idea I'm passing along to you all. It was about the difference between a life under the law and a life of grace, as highlighted by the observance of Lent and Easter.

Lent is about law and obedience. We deny ourselves things for moral discipline. But Easter - ah, when Easter comes - it's about grace and acceptance. God has done away with religious rules by bringing us under the law of love.

Jesus said all other laws were wrapped up in these two: love God. Love others. We give ourselves to God with all our being because of his provision of life. And we love other people, knowing we are deeply loved and accepted by God.

This year, Lent was an arduous chore, day by day. I wrote all but one day, but many were reposts. (Hint: Use the search function if you want to find a topic in this blog.)

Lent dragged on and on, especially hard because our rhythms of life are changing. I missed sweets. After every meal I would crave a bite of chocolate or cookie to do away with the savory tastes in my mouth. Nope. Not allowed. I missed watching dramas, especially because Kirsten and I love to watch together. Nope. Not allowed. She left the day after Easter; how we missed our Mother-Daughter discussions about the dramas we enjoy.

Baby dedication
I immersed myself in scriptures, finishing my first read-through of the Bible and listening to the gospels a few extra times. Swimming in the Words brought me to a new shore - I have yet to see what's beyond the beach, but I trust that it will be good and life-giving.

On Easter, baby Levi was dedicated to God. What a lovely beginning for the new exploration of what God is doing.

Read more:
*You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV

*Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3 ESV

*for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Romans 14:11 ESV

*The Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 2 Timothy 2:24 NIV

*We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Lord God, what a gift you have given to us in your Son and his love. May we love one another just as you love us. In this, people will know we are your disciples. 

Lord, as your servants, we try to emulate your life but we often fail to live up to your examples. Cleanse our souls and renew our spirits so the words from our lips and the thoughts of our hearts may be pleasing to you. Amen.


  1. Thank you for writing. I enjoyed reading your post!


    1. I've been away - so a late reply. glad you enjoyed it. Life is full and rich, isn't it?

    2. It sure is! Hope you had a wonderful time.