Easter 6, Saturday, Year B

Inspired by Deuteronomy 32:44-47

“This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life; through it you may live long in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32:47 (NRSV)

How seriously do you take the words of God? Even those of us who try to remain steadfast in our faith and live accordingly, how seriously do we really take his laws and his commandments, his promises and his warnings?

God knows when we will stray from him and be disobedient, but his foreknowledge does not mean we are predestined to follow that path. Just before the Israelites crossed the Jordan to enter the promised land after wandering in the desert for forty years, God told them through Moses that they would abandon the Lord their God and worship foreign idols. And God told them what would happen to them if they did that. His warning was so that they would remain diligent in observing his words, teaching them to their children so that generations to come would be faithful to the Lord, and not be taken in by those foreign idols. The word of the Lord was not simply a suggestion, but an explicit commandment for how to live faithfully in their new home. Failure to live faithfully carried with it dire consequences, so obedience to the law of the Lord was quite literally a matter of life or death for many of their progeny.

Following the law of the Lord is in many ways easier today. We no longer need to follow strict dietary or agricultural laws; we are called to love one another as Christ loved us, seeking justice and mercy for all in the world, and trusting in the grace and the love of the Lord our God. Failure to do that does carry dire consequences—the natural consequences of living in a world without selfless love, without justice, and without mercy. This is no trifling matter; it is your very life.

Let us pray. God of justice, your will is for us to live according to your laws. Inspire us to live according to the love, grace, mercy, and justice you desire for all your people, that we may live lives pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.