Tumbling in the Sand
Texts for February 13, 2011: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; and Matthew 5:21-37
What do you envision the perfect community would be like? Throughout the biblical texts, the people struggle with this vision: with their ideals of a perfect community, with God’s idea of a perfect community, and how the current community, whatever its form, falls so dramatically short. The law, the prophets, the poetry, the history, and all the rest are about helping people to struggle with their relationships to one another, to God, to their communities, to other communities.
In the texts for Sunday, one of the tools for achieving the vision for a perfect community is highlighted: the law. The law: God’s ways, commandments, decrees, and ordinances, are all about how people are to treat one another and how they are to act before God. The point of the law is not to simply follow the law, but it is to guide us into right relationships, into community, into the perfect community.
Of course, we fall short of that vision every time. Thank God that God picks us up again and again and dusts of off! But that does not mean that we do not continue to try to follow God’s ways, that we just stop walking on the path completely. When we fall in love with God, when we fall in love with the community that God is calling us to, we simply must keep stumbling along in order that a new community may grow, in order that we, through God’s working in us, may grow into that new community where the poor, the pure in heart, the weak, the peacemakers, and the ones who hunger and thirst after righteousness will truly be blessed.
So, what is your vision for the perfect community? And how are you—prayerfully, with God’s help and support—trying to live into that community every day?