by Kathy Matuschka
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‘Then he [Moses] took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey”’ (Exodus 24:7).
God initiated a covenant with the Hebrew people by instructing Moses on Mount Sinai. In response, the people said, not once but twice: ‘Everything the Lord has said we will do’.
That is a bold statement! That the people could say it so readily suggests they had a bit of a journey ahead of them. (Okay, so I read ahead and know the plot!)
What did the Hebrew people agree to do? Jesus told us that the laws (both old and new) can be summed up as: ‘Love God, love one another’ (Matthew 22:37–40).
The most loving things we can do might vary from one occasion to another. For example, a person in crisis might need urgent practical help, while afterward, it might be more loving to leave them space to regain control, supporting them while they do things themselves. Sometimes the most loving thing to do is to accept someone else’s generosity or hospitality rather than insisting that we must be the provider!
A proper response to God’s initiative is to obey. I am so grateful for all the ways God helps me to understand God’s will and to obey. Through God’s word and sacraments, Christian community, and the ongoing activity of the Holy Spirit, I know that I remain a welcome guest at the banquet and am empowered to be more gracious toward others.
Dear God, like the Hebrew people, I am often more confident than I should be that I am living in obedience to your will. Thank you for forgiving me, and for the many ways that you keep drawing me to yourself. Please renew me in my baptism once more today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.