- From the Jewish Scriptures: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
- Psalm 19 (VU p.740)
- From the Letters of the Church: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
The Hymns for this week are:
- #245 Praise the Lord with the Sound of Trumpet
- #356 Seek Ye First
- #679 Let There Be Light
- #232 Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You
The Sermon Title is Law: Burden or Blessing???
Early Thoughts: Well which is it? Is the Law an onerous obligation or a gift?
Over and over again we are reminded that the Way of Jesus is not meant to be a legalistic path. Grace has, we are told by Paul, superseded the Law. But then again Jesus is supposed to have said "I come to fulfil the law, not to abolish it". And in this passage we are told that the people wept and celebrated upon hearing the reading (with interpretation) of the Law.
Psalm 19 says
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyesThis hardly describes something onerous or something that has been imposed.
Jewish Tradition sees Law as God's gift, indeed one of God's greatest gifts. Christian tradition tends to denigrate the Law all the while creating a whole new legalistic structure about who is "right" with God and what is allowed. What would it take for us to see the Law as a gift? How would that change our approach to life? Maybe we get there by asking what life without law would be like?