Words Do Not Make Reality, As Seen in a Commercial

The situation of the man in this commercial reminds me of modern life in general. We talk a lot about freedom, but compulsiveness, addiction, and lack of self-control are more the case with the average person.

We have collectively rejected the “Ten Big Laws of God,” declaring our freedom from being told what to do. But the result has not been that we have fewer laws; rather we now have thousands of “little laws,” imposed upon us through oppressive government, by which we are told what we must do under penalty of law.

Many cultural revolutionaries have marched under the banners of freedom and tolerance, but once having gained a foothold they have tyrannically forced their agenda on others by law. The talk of tolerance and respect for differences turned out to be just that—talk.

The man in this advertisement talks a lot about how important mobility is to him, but the reality of his life is far from his self-description. In fact, he seems quite unaware of his condition. Does he not seem familiar?

The Love of the Law and the Law of Love – A Homily for the 22nd Sunday of the Year

This Sunday’s readings teach a proper understanding of God’s Law and its relationship to our hearts. The readings go a long way toward addressing the false dichotomy that many set up between love and the Law, as though the two were opposed; they are not. If we love God, we want what He wants and love what He loves. The Law describes well what God wants and loves. Indeed, the Law is letting love have its way.

God is Love and His Law (no matter how averse we are to “rules”) is ultimately an expression of His love. In all the readings today, God asks—even commands—that we let love have its way. Let’s look at four teachings on the relationship of Law to God, who is love.

I. The PROTECTION of the Law – Note that the text from today’s first reading frames the Law and the obedient hearing of it in terms of a promise of God, seeing the Law as a doorway to the loving blessings and promises of God. The text says, Moses said to the people: “Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.”

So, the Law comes with a promise. It is the basis of life and the doorway to the further blessings of the land. Many today see God’s Law as prison walls, as a limitation on our freedom to “do as we please.” The walls are not prison walls; they are defending ones.

Every ancient city had walls, not to imprison its citizens but to protect them from the enemy. Within the walls there was security and the promise of protection. Outside the walls lurked danger; there was no promise of safety there.

It is like this with God’s Laws. For those who keep them, they are a great source of protection; they also contain the promise of ultimate victory. Outside these protective walls there is every danger and there is no promise of victory.

In his famous book Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton wrote,

Catholic doctrine and discipline may be walls; but they are the walls of a playground …. We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea. So long as there was a wall round the cliff’s edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries. But the walls were knocked down, leaving the naked peril of the precipice. They did not fall over; but when their friends returned to them they were all huddled in terror in the center of the island; and their song had ceased [1].

God didn’t give the Law to take away our fun, but that we might find life and happiness. The devil is a liar; he tells us that we’ll be happier if we sin, that God is limiting our freedom by hemming us in with His Law. Sin does not make us free. Jesus says, Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin (John 8:34). Indeed, how much suffering and pain would vanish if we all just kept the commandments? Most of our wounds are self-inflicted, by insisting on journeying outside the walls of God’s loving and protecting commandments.

Moses reminds us that our decision for or against the Law brings either blessing or curse:

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Deut 30:15-20).

II. The PRECISION of the Law – Regarding the Law of God, Moses says, In your observance of the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin upon you, you shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it.

We might liken Law to a set of directions to a destination. If you give me directions to get to your house, I am probably not going to get there if I only follow half of them. The compliance must be complete to bring me to the right place. Similarly, we are directed the follow the Law of God wholly. Scripture says,

  • Instruct me O Lord, in the way of your statutes, that I may exactly observe them (Ps 119:33).
  • I intend in my heart to fulfill your statutes always to the letter. I have no love for half-hearted men, my love is for your law (Ps 119:112-113).
  • For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (James 2:10).

Here we must see God as a healer who is exacting and precise not for His sake but for ours. Imagine a man with two broken legs who goes to the doctor. The doctor says, “We’re going to aim for 50% here. I’ll set one leg but leave the other one broken. Don’t worry about the broken leg; that’s why God gave you two!” We would surely hold such a doctor in contempt. God, who is our healer, points to full health, not partial or crippled health.

When Jesus says, You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48), He is indicating the kind of healing He offers. St. Paul adds, [God who] began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6).

Thus, the precision of the Law is taught to indicate the healing power of God’s Law with grace.

III. The PRIORITY of the Law – In today’s gospel, Jesus rebukes the Scribes and Pharisees, saying, “[You] teach as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”

Now, as then, many people set aside the priority of God’s Law in favor of human thinking. Politics has become a pernicious influence in this regard. Many Catholics of both parties are more passionate about their political views than about God’s teachings as revealed through Scripture and Church teaching. If there is a conflict between what God teaches and the political party’s view, guess which gives way and which gets unquestioning allegiance?

Be it questions of abortion, immigration, or same-sex “marriage,” all too easily Catholics will turn a deaf ear to what God teaches. They never rebuke their own political party when correction is needed, and even cheer as their political leaders champion positions contrary to God’s Law. Too many Catholics place political priorities, popularity, human traditions, and human agendas over God’s Law.

The Lord Jesus goes on to say, Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me. In Mark’s Gospel Jesus says, [You] make void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do (Mk 7:13).

Be very careful. The pernicious effects of partisan political thinking, worldviews, and mere cultural preferences have caused too many Catholics to cease to be the leaven, the prophetic voice they are supposed to be in this world. All political parties, most worldviews, and many cultural trends need purification. A Catholic must be a Catholic before he is a Democrat, a Republican, or a Libertarian; before he is a fan of a celebrity; before he raves about the latest trends. None of these things typically stand blameless before God, and the unquestioning, unqualified, and silent allegiance from Catholics and other Christians toward such worldly things is a huge problem. We are too easily compromised and have often elevated human teachings and movements above God’s Law.

To all of this, the Lord gives rebuke and reminds us that His Law must the standard by which everything else is judged. A Christian should see everything by the light of God’s Law, exposing error and evil, approving goodness and truth wherever they are found. Nothing has priority over what God teaches.

In the end it is a question of what and whom we love more: God and His Law or this world and its ways of sin and compromise.

IV. The PLACE of the Law – The Lord goes on to indicate that our fundamental problem can be that the Law of God is not in our heart. He warns that the heart, as the locus of human decision and action, must be the place of His Law for us. The Lord says, Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile. From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.

Hence, we need to have God’s Law in our heart. It is not enough to have a cursory and intellectual awareness of His Law; it must drop the foot or so from our intellect to our heart.

What is the human heart? While there are ambiguities in the biblical text distinguishing mind and heart, this much is clear: the heart is the deepest part of the human person, the place where we are alone with our thoughts and deliberations. The heart is the place where we discern, ponder, and ultimately decide. The heart is “where we live.” It is in this deepest part of us that the Law of God must find a home.

Jesus makes it clear that it is from the heart of the individual that come the behaviors that determine our character and our destiny. It is here that the Law of God must find a home. It will only find a deep home in the heart through prayer and meditation; through the careful, persistent, and thoughtful reading of God’s revealed truth, coupled with gratitude and love of God.

It is no mistake that the summary of God’s Law is simply, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as your very self.” It is only love that unlocks the door of our heart. In loving God, we begin to love what and whom He loves. To love God is to love His Law. Scripture says,

  • My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times (Ps 119:20).
  • Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors (Ps 119:24 24).
  • The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold (Ps 119:72).
  • For I love your commands more than gold, however fine (Ps 119:127).
  • I open my mouth and sigh, longing for your commands (Ps 119:131).

Yes, in the end, the Law comes from love, the God of love, who is Love. Thus, it is love that unlocks the Law. It is love that makes us realize that the Law is a gift of God’s love. He gives us His law to protect us, to guide us, and to heal us. Therefore, He asks us to make His Law our wholehearted priority.

On the Paradoxical Connection Between Love and Law – A Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter

In the Sunday Gospel, Jesus cuts right through the modern Western tendency to place love in opposition with law, and law in opposition with joy. Jesus joins all three concepts and summons us to a new attitude.

I. Connections – Jesus says, As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete.

Note how the Lord joins the three concepts of love, law, and joy. This is precisely the opposite of what Western culture does. The best that Western culture will admit of law is that it is a necessary evil; more routinely it is viewed as an unloving imposition by the powerful on the weak, the hierarchy on the laity, the (evil, oppressive, pharisaical) Church on decent people.

Whereas the modern world disconnects law from love, Jesus links them. How do we both experience and show love? Jesus says that we do so by keeping His commandments. He sets forth a vision whereby we, having experienced God’s love, desire and rejoice in His commands. We also show love to the Lord through this very obedience and joyful adherence to His commands. This loving obedience goes even further by setting forth an abundant joy through the very keeping of those commands.

Again, this is completely contrary to modern notions. According to the modern world, a “loving” God has few or no rules. He merely affirms, encourages, accepts, and includes—or so goes the thinking.

The real Jesus is far more complex. He is surely loving, especially of sinners. He encourages, includes the outcast, and so forth, but He also speaks of sin and rebukes it. He embraces the sinner but directs him to “Sin no more.” He sets forth a demanding moral vision even as He shows mercy. In this Gospel, Jesus joins love and the law, saying that the law brings joy. They are not opposed. It is not an either/or, but a both/and. Jesus was not just the “affirmer in chief” who went about saying nothing but pleasant things. In fact, He often held many contrary ideas in tension and balance.

Consider the following portrait painted by Ross Douthat in his book Bad Religion, How We Became a Nation of Heretics.:

Christianity is a paradoxical religion because the Jew of Nazareth is a paradoxical character. No figure in history or fiction contains as many multitudes as the New Testament’s Jesus. He’s a celibate ascetic who enjoys dining with publicans and changing water into wine at weddings. He’s an apocalyptic prophet one moment, a [careful and] wise ethicist the next. … He promises to set [spouses against one another and] parents against children, and then disallows divorce; he consorts with prostitutes while denouncing even lustful thoughts. … He can be egalitarian and hierarchical, gentle and impatient, extraordinarily charitable and extraordinarily judgmental. He sets impossible standards and then forgives the worst of sinners. He blesses the peacemakers and then promises that he’s brought not peace but the sword. He’s superhuman one moment; the next he’s weeping.

Douthat goes on to conclude:

The boast of Christian orthodoxy, as codified by the councils of the early Church and expounded in the Creeds, has always been its fidelity to the whole of Jesus. … [Where heresy says which one] Both, says orthodoxy…. The goal of the great heresies, on the other hand, has often been to extract from the tensions of the gospel narratives a more consistent, streamlined, and noncontradictory Jesus.

The main point is that Jesus, who is love, does not hesitate to teach on many moral topics and to warn sinners of judgment. He both personally and through his inspired apostles speaks with clarity about anger, greed, malice, neglect of the poor, divorce, fornication, adultery, impure thoughts, homosexual acts, lack of faith, revenge, dishonesty, the sin of human respect, false and worldly priorities, and countless other matters.

In the Sunday Gospel, not only does Jesus link love to the keeping of the commandments, but also says that the keeping of the commandments leads to joy.

Of this, I am a witness. God’s law gives joy to my heart. As a priest, I live as a celibate, like Jesus, and my life is very fulfilling. I have been faithful to my celibate commitment without fail. I have not strayed from proper boundaries. I do not view pornography. I am not in any way sexually active. In all this I am not repressed; I am not sad or lonely. My life is joyful; I am fulfilled and see my celibacy as a gift. To those who cannot marry, whether because they are homosexual, too young, or have not met the right person, I say that God can and still does bless you. Living celibately can be fulfilling and joyful for those who are temporarily and/or permanently called to it.

The Church cannot and will not affirm or call good what God calls sin, whether it is greed, violence, or (more controversially) homosexual acts or illicit heterosexual acts. In so doing we are not being any more unloving, repressed, or sad than Jesus—and He is none of these things. Neither can we affirm any other acts or attitudes that the Bible calls sinful. These things are all taught in love and they bring joy to those who will accept them.

The Lord is no liar, and He promises that love, His commandments, and joy are all interrelated. I am a witness that this is true.

II. The Core – The Lord says, This is my commandment, Love one another as I have loved you. While it is true that the Church and all of us as individuals must speak the truth, we must speak it in love. We are not out to win an argument, to overpower, or merely to criticize. Our goal is to love. It is not helpful, and quite likely harmful, to correct people whom we do not first love.

Hence the Lord’s command to love one another is at the core of any preaching or teaching task. There are many today who declare that they do not experience love from the Church, only “denunciation.” It is difficult for the Church to convey our love to a large number of people, to a nation, or to a culture. To the degree that we have failed to love or to convey that love, we must repent and strive even harder both to love and to express that love.

That said, the mere fact that we announce God’s law and summon others to it does not make us unloving. As we have seen above, Jesus links these concepts. There is no doubt that some will take offense no matter what we say or how we say it, but the fact that others are angry or hurt does not necessarily mean that we have done or said something wrong. Jesus, who was sinless, offended many and was a sign of contradiction both then and now.

As for the Church, we must never fail to ask for a deepening love for all, even for those who hate us, misunderstand us, or misrepresent us. The core of Jesus’ teaching is this: “Love one another.”

Jesus goes so far as to say that we must be willing to endure martyrdom in order to speak the truth to others. He says, No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Are we willing to endure hatred? Are we willing to be spat upon and mocked? Are we willing to be called hateful, bigoted, homophobic, backward, repressed, intolerant, and so forth? Jesus was willing because He had the kind of love to stay in the conversation even when many (though not all) hated Him. What are you willing to bear to proclaim the truth in love?

III. Camaraderie – Jesus also links friendship to the knowledge of His law. He says, You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.

Here is another connection Jesus makes that the modern world rarely does. The world thinks of rules, laws, and commandments in terms of slavery and subservience. Jesus, however links these to friendship. A friend knows what his friend is about and gladly seeks to understand and support him. Scripture says, Happy are we, O Israel, for what pleases God is known to us (Baruch 4:4).

True friendship means seeking to know and understand one’s friend and to accomplish what is important to him. Many today call themselves friends of Jesus but give Him little more than lip service. A true friend of Jesus is delighted to know His will and to accomplish it.

IV. Call – Jesus says, It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another. In these final lines, we are reminded that the Lord, who has chosen us, can and will equip us to live His law, to bear fruit in the keeping of the commandments, and to be someone whom the Father can trust with blessings.

To be rebellious and resentful is to be untrustworthy of further blessings, but here again the Lord stresses that the keeping of the commandments is linked to love and to further blessings.

The commandments bring joy; they are rooted in love and bring blessings. Do we really believe this? Or will we accept the worldly thinking that places these in opposition with each other: love and law, law and joy, and law and friendship? The choice is ours. As for me, I am already a witness that the law is love, joy, and friendship. How about you?

This song rejoices in the Light of Jesus, the clear Sun (Son) of Righteousness, who shows the way to the Father:

The Love of the Law and the Law of Love – A Homily for the 22nd Sunday of the Year

The LawToday’s readings teach a proper understanding of the Law and its relationship to our hearts. The readings go a long way toward addressing the false dichotomy that many set up between love and law, as though the two were opposed; they are not. For if we love God, we want what He wants and love what He loves. And the Law goes a long way toward describing what God wants and loves. Indeed, the Law is letting love have its way.

God is Love and His Law (no matter how averse we are to “rules”) is ultimately an expression of His love. In all of the readings today God asks (even as He commands it) that we let love have its way. Let’s look at four teachings on the relationship of Law to God, who is Love.

I. The PROTECTION of the Law – Note that the text from today’s first reading frames the Law, and the obedient hearing of it, in terms of a promise of God, seeing the Law as a doorway to the loving blessings and promises of God. The text says, Moses said to the people: “Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.”

So the Law comes with a promise. It is the basis of life and the doorway to the further blessings of the land. Many today see God’s Law as prison walls, as a limitation on our freedom to “do as we please.” But the walls are not prison walls; they are defending walls.

Every ancient city had walls, not to imprison its citizens, but to protect them from the enemy. Within the walls there was security and the promise of protection. Outside the walls lurked danger; there were no promises of safety.

It is like this with God’s Laws. For those who keep them, they are a great source of protection and also contain the promise of ultimate victory. But outside this protective wall there is every danger and no promise of victory.

In his famous book Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton wrote,

Catholic doctrine and discipline may be walls; but they are the walls of a playground … We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea. So long as there was a wall round the cliff’s edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries. But the walls were knocked down, leaving the naked peril of the precipice. They did not fall over; but when their friends returned to them they were all huddled in terror in the center of the island; and their song had ceased. [1]

God didn’t give the Law to take away our fun, but that we might find life and happiness. The devil, of course, is a liar; he tells us that we’ll be happier if we sin, that God is limiting our freedom by hemming us in with His Law. But sin does not make us free. Jesus says, Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin (John 8:34). Indeed, how much suffering and pain would vanish if we all just kept the commandments? Most of our wounds are self-inflicted, by insisting on journeying outside the walls of God’s loving and protecting commandments.

Moses reminds us that our decision for or against the Law brings either blessing or curse:

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Deut 30:15-20).

II. The PRECISION of the Law – Regarding the Law of God, Moses says, In your observance of the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin upon you, you shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it.

Here we might the Law to be like a set of directions to a destination. If you give me directions to get to your house, I am probably not going to get there if I only follow half of the directions. The compliance must be complete to bring me to the right place. And so we are directed the follow the Law of God wholly. Scripture says elsewhere,

  • Instruct me O Lord, in the way of your statutes, that I may exactly observe them (Ps 119:33).
  • I intend in my heart to fulfill your statutes always to the letter. I have no love for half-hearted men, my love is for your law (Ps 119:112-113).
  • For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (James 2:10).

Here we must see God as a healer who is not exacting and precise for His sake, but for ours. Imagine a man who goes to a doctor with two broken legs and the doctor says, “We’re gonna aim for 50% here. I’ll set one leg but leave the other one broken. But don’t worry about the broken leg; that’s why God gave you two!” We would surely hold such a doctor in contempt. God, who is our healer, points to full health, not crippled or partial health.

When Jesus says, You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48), He is indicating the kind of healing He offers. And St. Paul adds, [God who] began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6).

Thus the precision of the Law is taught to indicate the healing power of God’s law with grace.

III. The PRIORITY of the Law – In today’s gospel, Jesus rebukes the Scribes and Pharisees saying, “[You] teach as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”

Now, as then, many set aside the priority of God’s Law in favor of human thinking. Politics has become a pernicious influence in this regard. Many Catholics of both parties are more passionate about their political views than about God’s teachings as revealed through Scripture and Church teaching. And if there is a conflict between what God teaches and the political party view, guess which gives way and which gets unexamined allegiance?

Be it questions of abortion, immigration, or same-sex “marriage,” all too easily Catholics will turn a deaf ear to what God teaches, never rebuking their own party when correction is needed, and even cheering as their political leaders champion positions contrary to God’s Law. Too many Catholics place political priorities and popularity, human traditions and agenda, over God’s Law.

The Lord Jesus goes on to say, Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me. He says elsewhere, [you] make void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do (Mk 7:13).

Be very careful; the pernicious effects of partisan political thinking, worldviews, and mere cultural preferences have caused too many Catholics to cease to be the leaven, the prophetic voice they are supposed to be in this world. All of the political parties, most worldviews, and many cultural trends need purification. A Catholic must be a Catholic before he is a Democrat, a Republican, or a Libertarian; before he is a fan of a Hollywood star or musician; before he touts the latest trend or raves about the most recent bestselling book. None of these things usually stand blameless before God, and the unquestioning, unqualified, and silent allegiance from Catholics and other Christians toward such worldly things is a huge problem today. We are too easily compromised and have often elevated human teachings and movements above God’s Law.

To all of this, the Lord gives rebuke and reminds us that His Law must the standard by which every other thing is judged. A Christian should see everything by the Light of God’s Law, exposing error and evil, approving goodness and truth wherever they are found. Nothing has priority over what God teaches.

In the end it is a question of what and whom we love more: God and His Law, or this world and its ways of sin and compromise.

IV. The PLACE of the Law – The Lord goes on to indicate that our fundamental problem can be that the Law of God is not in our heart. He warns that the heart, since it is the locus of human decision and action, must be the place of His Law for us. The Lord says, Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile. From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.

Hence there is the need to have God’s law in our heart. It is not enough to have a cursory and intellectual awareness of God’s Law. The Law must drop the 15 inches from the intellect to the heart.

And what is the human heart? While there ambiguities in the biblical text distinguishing mind and heart, this much is clear: the heart is the deepest part of the human person, the place where we are alone with our thoughts and deliberations. The heart is the place where we discern, ponder, and ultimately decide. The heart is “where we live.” It is in this deepest part of ourselves that the Law of God must find a home.

Jesus makes it clear that it is from the deep heart of the individual that come forth the behaviors that determine our character and our destiny. It is here that the Law of God must find a home. And it will only find a deep home here through prayer and meditation; through the careful, persistent, and thoughtful reading of God’s revealed truth, coupled with gratitude and love of God.

It is no mistake that the summary of God’s Law is simply, “Love the Lord the your God with all your heart and your neighbor as your very self.” For it is only love that unlocks the door of our heart. And in loving God we begin to love what and whom He loves. To love God is to love His Law. Scripture says,

  • My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times (Ps 119:20).
  • Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors (Ps 119:24 24).
  • The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold (Ps 119:72).
  • For I love your commands more than gold, however fine (Ps 119:127).
  • I open my mouth and sigh, longing for your commands (Ps 119:131).

Yes, in the end, the Law comes from Love, the God of Love, who is Love. And thus it is love that unlocks the Law, love that makes us realize that the Law is a gift of God’s love. He gives us His law in order to protect us, precisely guide us, and heal us. Thus He asks us to make His Law a wholehearted priority.

Love the Law and come to experience the Love that the Law is.

This song says,

We need to hear from you
We need a word from you
If we don’t hear from you
What will we do?
Wanting you more each day
Show us your perfect way
There is no other way
That we can live

Destruction is now is now in view
Seems the world has forgotten all about you
Children are crying and people are dying
They’re lost without you, so lost without you
But you said if we seek
Lord if we seek your face
And turn from our wicked, our wicked ways
You promised to heal our land
Father you can!