Lent 5, Wednesday, Year B

Inspired by Psalm 119:9-16 

“Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes. With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth. I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches.” Psalm 119:12-14 (NRSV) 

Many of us automatically equate rules with restrictions on our freedom. In some cases that equation is justified. Sometimes those in authority abuse their power and create statutes, ordinances, and decrees with the intention of controlling others in order to enhance their own position. As a result, we tend to look at all statutes and ordinances as tools of control by a power-hungry dictator.

But power-hungry dictator is not an accurate description of God. God is, as the psalmist says, blessed, and all statutes, ordinances, and decrees that come from him are equally blessed. To follow the statutes of the Lord is to live a blessed life, one governed by love, mercy, patience, and justice. Abandoning those statutes in order to exercise our freedom selfishly is to abandon riches for dross, gold for tin. In order to be blessed, we must follow the ordinances of the Blessed One. Such obedience, far from being restrictive, is the best exercise of our freedom in which we can engage.

Let us pray. Blessed Lord, you are good, and all that comes from you is good. Enable us to delight in your ways, that we may live the blessed lives you will for us. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.