Do we have a love/hate relationship with “The Law?” At times we are like the Psalmist who waxes rhapsodically about the statutes and judgments of the Lord. We might even desire them more than fine gold and find them sweeter than honey. Periodically, we do not know how often we have broken the laws or committed secret faults. Sometimes we are like those sheep on the right hand of the Son of Man taking care of others and other times we more closely resemble the goats on the left hand. Paradoxically, speed limits and their enforcement cause us consternation when we are in a hurry to get somewhere and happiness when someone is stopped for speeding down our neighborhood street where children are playing.
Many of God’s laws are focused on how we should treat one another. In Leviticus, we are told that we should not hate any of our kin and should love our neighbors as ourselves. This message of loving our neighbors is found in one form or another in most world religions, and indeed, in a common-sense approach to life. The fabric of society is woven through with laws and agreements that help us to get along with one another and to exist in peace and harmony with one another. Today, however, it feels as if the cloth that is our country is unraveling and that agreed upon laws and norms are being pulled out on all sides. Today’s lessons remind us to stand with Moses and say as God commanded, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” And, to be like those sheep feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, and visiting those who are sick or in prison.
Dear God, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Amen.