Morning Reflections 10/14/09

"18 Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.19 Anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." 

Sometimes I struggle to keep law and gospel in their proper tension. I, like others (especially from our tradition) often err on the side of grace. Don't get me wrong if I am going to err, I think that is the better option of the two. That being said, the law is not rendered irrelevant by a God of grace. The law provides the necessary boundaries… a guide for us to live that keeps us from crossing harmful boundaries (or "trespassing") onto paths that can only lead to harm. In verse 20 we are told that our "righteousness" must surpass that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law to enter the kingdom of heaven. But here is the kicker. The message of grace is that our "righteousness"… is made complete /possible/fulfilled by Jesus. Jesus fulfilled all "requirement" of the law on our behalf. This is the only way we can surpass the righteousness of those like the Pharisees. This is good news for me. Lord, teach me to live within the boundaries of your law, but always resting in your loving arms of grace. Thank you for fulfilling my obligation to your law.

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