Saturday, March 9, 2019

1st Saturday of Lent

"If you love those who love you, what reward do you have?"  - Matthew 5:46
"...observe these statutes and ordinances...with all your heart and all your soul."  --Deut. 26:16

When the "statutes and ordinances" term is used most of us think of the written down laws and rules that humans created - from the tablets Moses brought down from the mountain to the mountains of growing laws added through time.  But if we pull our lens back to take in a much wider scope of history, we might be able to see that there were statutes and ordinances that our Creator laid down long before humans got in the business of law-making.  First, the Creator put into play all the laws of physics: gravity, centrifugal force, thermodynamics, etc. Because of those ordinances and statutes the universe was established and the earth hung into its space.  Laws and rules of chemistry & biology set the pace and development of life on planet earth.  Once humans were walking the planet -- made in the image of God we're told -- we  were instilled with fundamental emotions and concepts of fairness, nurture, caring, and living out concern about shared purpose and survival.  We knew and worshipped the God who loves us all.  And then, religions came and laws got made as we found more ways to be mean, cruel, and selfish.  Often Love got shoved to the sidelines.  We pejoratively think ancient peoples were "uncivilized," but the farther we've come on the human timeline, can anyone seriously argue that the genocide perpetrated on Native Americans, nuclear weapons, or the wars -- WWI, WWII, Korean, Viet Nam, Persian Gulf 1&2, Afghanistan, Iraq -- were leaps of great civilized progress in human development? 

Now our more common shared statutes and ordinances seem to revolve around decimating the planet for our personal benefit, being on the winning side while squashing the opposition, and dying with the most wealth in the bank. But the original statutes are still in place, buried in our primordial hearts.  We love because God first loved us.  We can return to the ancient Wise Ones' ways - walk tenderly on the earth and treat one another with caring, generosity, and empathy.  That approach needs to expand far and wide - way past just those living under our own roof.  We have to stop our "warring madness" and find ways to cut through the barriers we put up based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion.  To our knowledge, we are the only creatures like us in the entire universe.  I use the word creature intentionally to include all the two, four, eight, and 100 legged creatures... all life on this tiny blue marble whirling through space.  We've been loved profoundly in the good fortune of embracing our life.  It is life that is shared uniquely across the planet and ages.  Let's do our part to keep it going!

Questions for Discussion and/or Journaling:

  1. In what way might Love be the most important "statute" that exists?
  2. Where do you find examples and proofs that civility is still alive?
  3. What is one way you might love the earth or her creatures this week?

Great Spirit, you have patiently brought us so far along the trail of life.  Many of us are "getting it" and beginning to coax things back toward what is more in your intent for us.  Bless and empower our small efforts.  Amen.


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