Saturday, January 9, 2010

Psalm 119
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.

10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.

11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

12 Praise be to you, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.

13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.

So after seeing Julie and Julia I have been inspired. No, not to cook my way through 2010 , but rather to live my way through the Word this year. Throughout the end of last year I could not help but consider how much of the Bible just seems ignored or non applicable to Western culture. From my perspective it seems that my Christian experience is a far cry from Biblical mandate. For years I chalked it up to the great cultural divide - you know, believing things don't apply to us because we live in a different time and space. While I do believe that the Bible holds great symbolism and everything shouldn't be taken literally, I also believe we conveniently opt out of a lifestyle that would be less than comfortable for us as Westerners.

I'm not sure what this will end up looking like - I never claimed to be a Bible scholar. I don't plan on growing my hair out to my waist and I cannot fathom going without makeup but I don't think that is the point. Take for example the ten commandments. Most Bible Belt Southerners would concur that the ten commandments are a good thing and that they should be followed. However, what is the Sabbath and how many of us keep it holy? I was struck today when I was reading through them to discover the clear instructions

"No working on the Sabbath; keep it holy just as GOD, your God, commanded you. Work six days, doing everything you have to do, but the seventh day is a Sabbath, a Rest Day - no work: not you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid, your ox, your donkey (or any of your animals), and not even the foreigner visiting your town. That way your servants and maids will get the same rest as you." Deuteronomy 5:12-14.

I have not had to work on a Sunday in many years. However, what about giving the others a chance to rest as well? If my family and I insist on going out to eat, getting groceries or gas, or going to the movies aren't we insisting others work on a day intended for rest. I'm not trying to convince others I'm right. What day the Sabbath is on is up for debate. I'm certainly not trying to make others feel bad if they disagree or make other choices. I am trying to make one small calculated effort each day to live by a biblical mandate. I am hoping many small steps will find me in the way of David in Psalm 119

33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees;
then I will keep them to the end.

34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.

35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.

36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.

37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word. b]">[b]

38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.

39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.

40 How I long for your precepts!
Preserve my life in your righteousness.

Here is to a year of walking in the Truth. Precept by precept.


Betsy said...

Good stuff! I'm glad you're blogging again.

angela said...

glad to see you back on here. i will be praying for you.

Mary Ellen said...

Yes, this intentional thing is always so much harder than I think. Do you remember not buying anything new for a year Ang? So Sunday I ended up needing a last minute gift. If I had planned, I wouldn't need to be running into a store on Sunday, but alas that is part of the learning curve. Plan, plan, plan!