Monday, Jan 29, 2018. What is the most important thing in life? What is your first thought when you think about your day? Usually, we are busy with some immediate needs. We think about our morning at work, or our morning with the kids. Or we think about our loneliness, our illness, our most pressing problem.
The bible expresses an invitation, to think about this first place in our life. Let us look into the most prominent commandment, which takes up this most important question: what is our life build upon? What is holding it? What is giving it its spinal column?
The Lord, your God …
When we look into the bible, the New Testament and the Old Testament, a core part is the ten commandments. They build the core of the “old” testament, this first contract which God make with the people of Israel. And they build the core of the New Testament, the background on which Jesus and his salvation operates. Let us read!
1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before1 me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Ex. 20, 1-6)
This is the first commandment with its explantory text. God is the Lord, our God. He is the creator. He is the initial force. He is the liberator. He is the guide. He is a loving father, justice himself, love himself, a burning fire!
My Life …
In the first commandment God calls himself “your God”! He talks to people who have him as their God, as their liberator. This is told to the people if Israel in the first place. Already in the Old Testament is it opened to those who believe in him, who keep to the Jews, who honor and obey the commands which reflect the justice of the loving father, the loving creator. Then, with Jesus, this is plainly opened to each and everyone. Come! Believe! The Lord is your liberator as well.
Is God YOUR God? Is he the one who liberates you personally? In Jesus we are offered full pardon for our sin, for our own injustice. In him we are opened full liberation for our life. We are offered to receive God as loving father, in full. Is he our God? When we come to him, when we accept the offer, when we start to believe in Jesus, he becomes “our” God. Before that, he is just “the” god, the creator, the original source of the universe. Before we come to him with faith, he is just the burning fire, which threatens us.
But when we come to him through the door, which is Jesus, we come as children of the most high. We come to him and he becomes our father, our God, our Lord, our saviour, our liberator, our love. Without him we are slaves to injustice. With him, we are slaves to the original love, to full justice, to freedom in eternity. Lord, be OUR God, please! Yes, in Jesus you provide all the justice we need. In Jesus, his way to the cross, his death and resurrection, you make us your children. In him, the first commandment is complete, when we open our heart, our mind, our life to you, Lord. You are our God! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts