Friday, February 29, 2008

By the Book

rules are like a golden retriever kept on a leash
a constant companion of clear expectation
heal, sit, stay, but don't fetch
because I'm still holding the leash
but the comforting blanket
that keeps us warm at night
if we're not careful
and a little careless
can be twisted into a straight jacket
where law overshadows people
and the truth is twisted
like Your ten commandments
as ammunition for Your son
or the book You meant as a love letter
becoming faded files in a courtroom
I like books
the leash gives the rush of control
the blanket swaddles
the lists are smiling with checkmarks
keeping everything in place
just like the nails
when they murdered You
by the book

"Passive theft is still left. I have stolen joy from people I love. I have stolen time from people by not giving them my full attention when they are speaking from their depths." Dr. Bob Laurent, "Do Not Steal" sermon 2/28/08

"The Bible doesn't teach you to follow rules. It is a picture of Jesus . . . Just don't look for rules and principles; look for a relationship--a way of coming to be with Me . . . Enforcing rules, especially in its more subtle expression like responsibility and expectation, is a vain attempt to creat certainty out of uncertainty. And contrary to what you might think, I have a great fondness for uncertainty. Rules cannot bring freedom; they only have the power to accuse . . . Rules and principals are simpler than relationship . . . I don't want to be first among a list of values; I want to be the center of everything." Papa in William P. Young's The Shack

"The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God's Law. You won't go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don't live it. They don't take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It's all spit-and-polish veneer . . . Instead of giving you God's Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn't think of lifting a finger to help." Matthew 23:1,4 (Msg)

"Don't suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures— either God's Law or the Prophets. I'm not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama. God's Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God's Law will be alive and working." Mathew 5:17

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