Monday, October 20, 2008

Run In With The Law

I got pulled over one day by the cops. Flashing blue lights in my rear view mirror, I in a daze of confusion pulled to the side. The officer approached and asked if I knew why I was being pulled over. “No Sir.” I replied nervously. “Do you know how fast you were driving?” he asked. “Yes sir, I was going 45 mph.” I said timidly. “Well, it is 45 about four miles back but it changes to 35 about ¼ of a mile back.” He informed me. “I am sorry sir, I had no idea I must have missed the sign.” I replied. I handed him my driver licenses, insurance information, and registration. He slowly returned to his car and after a long wait returned with what I presumed was a ticket. He proceed to give me a lecture about: ignorance of the law is not a legal defense or excuse, how I needed to pay more attention, and that since the fact I didn’t slow down when I passed him, I must not have known the correct speed limit. He then handed me a warning because my intent was to obey the law. Every time I traveled down that street, I was very conscious of my speed, I even told my friends about my run it with the cops, and reminded them that the speed limit changes from 45mph to 35 mph.
The religious leaders had derived 613 commandments from God out of the Pentateuch or the five books of the Law. Two hundred and forty-eight of them were prescriptive or things that God told them to do. Three hundred and sixty-five of them were prohibitive or things that God forbade them to do. Six hundred and thirteen laws in totality, each one of them carrying the truth of a divine imperative, each one of them are carrying the authority of a divinely appointed leader “Moses” each one of them having the historic sanction of religious tradition and the full endorsement of the faith community. That is too much for me to remember so Jesus broke it down to just two. Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as your self. Sometimes it is easier to love others than love ourselves. Depression, low self esteem, insecurities, doubt, reservations, illness and mistrust all hinder us from truly loving ourselves. It can keep us from viewing ourselves as God created us. It robs us from our full potential as God’s children. Other times it is easier to love yourself than love others. Arrogance, pride, self gratification, selfishness, egotism, and even busyness can keep us distracted from loving others. It hinders our ability to love, serve, and help other children of Gods. Maybe the mission of the church is to help all of us to work on both: loving ourselves and others. This is not new news but a reminder, a warning of such, to slow down and recall Jesus’ two.
See you in church but until then love of yourself and one another.


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