Email Devotion Pentecost 26
Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments. (Psalm 112:1, NRSV)
I find myself thinking about the Ten Commandments, as I consider the first few days in our country following our recent election. I find myself thinking about the 8th Commandment (You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor). And I wonder what purpose is served by my continued vitriolic critique? I suspect God is calling me to repentance.
I also find myself thinking about the 4th Commandment (Honor your father and your mother). For Martin Luther, this commandment extended to “persons in authority who have to command and to govern.” And I wonder what purpose is served by my continued disrespect to leaders I would not have chosen? And again, I suspect God is calling me to repentance.
I find myself thinking about the 9th and 10th commandments (You shall not covet …). And I wonder what purpose is served by my coveting of particular roles and responsibilities … not for myself … but for other leaders I might deem more worthy. I suspect God is calling me to repentance.
And in the broadest way, I find myself thinking about the 1st Commandment (I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other Gods before me). And I wonder what purpose is served by my allowing any elected leader the level of lordship over my life that I think my hope resides in their choices, good or bad. I suspect God is calling me to repentance.
How quickly we are sometimes inclined to cede to other earthly leaders or companions or antagonists the kind of honor and acknowledgement which we owe to our Maker and Redeemer. It is just so easy to allow those with whom we struggle, to garner an undue amount of our attention, energy, and passion. The fact that the energy we expend is typically of a negative vein, makes the exercise doubly poisonous.
So join me, if you will, in in prayer this week. Prayers of confession for our childish choices … prayers of repentance for our hearts to be transformed … prayers of reverence for the One who deserves the time and attention we are wasting elsewhere … prayers of joy, for a God who understands power to be that which frees us to be the most faithful we can be. Remember, that if all that we do is rail against the cause of the grief in our lives, then we allow two deaths to occur – that for which we grieve, and our souls which cannot move on with life.