Seven Wonders of the Word
“The God spoke all these words:” – Exodus 20:1
“Grape!” The word is spoken and then some serving girl plops a grape into his mouth and he chews! This image of a king or some such person being hand fed fruit on command is pervasive I have seen it in movies, TV and even cartoons come to think of it!
Words do stuff, well that has sort of been the premise of our Lenten focus “Seven Wonders of the Word.” This week we move on to the word “Commands.”
I think we have an interesting relationship with this word. People often rebel against being commanded to do something. And often for good reason! When the word commands with brute force and power, it can be an oppressive thing. Look at all the rebellions going on all over the world, politicians, and dictators can only boss their way around so much when the people are not willing to be bossed! When we are young we show signs of this early on, at some point shortly after learning the most basic of verbal skills this phrase or something like it comes out of everyone’s mouth! “You are NOT the boss of me!”
But get yourself into a pickle, into some real trouble or dilemma, and often we will look to others and plaintively cry “Just tell me what to do!” In this we abandon our rights, and part of who we are so that whatever is happening might go away! This most often is where dictators get invited in the door.
Today though we have something a little different, we have the word “THEN.” The word then implies that there was a… er… um… was a was? There was a history, something that happened before hand and in the case of our reading today, a whole lot of something happened. On a large scale this is all part of God’s larger relationship with all of creation, most notably humanity. Slightly more focused this is part of the relationship story as God is good on his word, and hears his people and delivers them from slavery.
It is in the context of this deep relationship that all these words are spoken. These words of command are not onerous, nor abusive, are they given so that relationship between God and his people and the relationship between the people themselves might flourish.
I have been blessed with two wonderful kids, ok they are a bit dorky like their parents, but on the whole they are good. We have had rules, commands that have been laid down. These commands are in place not because I am the Dad and I say so, but they are there for life, for safety, for the betterment of our relationship. Now, I am not going to say I was always perfect in the giving of the commands as I am sure my kids were not perfect in receiving nor obeying them. These rough spots we worked out together because of our relationship because of all that had gone on before.
I know it can be hard to hear the word “Command” and think of it as a loving nurturing word, but I think we will find that very often when that “Command” comes from God it is to do just that, to love and nurture! God’s commands are given for us, so that we might be more fully who we were created to be!
HAVE A NICE DAY… No really, I am commanding you to have a nice day! (I wonder if that will work?)
🙂 God Bless!