As I was growing up, I thought for sure my nickname was “What where you thinking?” My last name was “Don’t do that again!” My brother and I had a great childhood. We had a swing-set in the back yard that needed to be tied down to the ground with a large piece of ready-rod lest we tipped it over swinging too high. We were often told not to swing so high because we were going to wreck the swing and if we did, we would not get another one. Beside the swing was a very cool fort. It had three levels and windows for shooting our cap guns out when the enemy came to attack. It later served as target practice for shooting tennis balls at with our hockey sticks. Then we got the bright idea to get people to go inside the fort and put their face in the window and try to avoid getting hit with the ball as we fired the dripping wet tennis projectile at the hole (we had dogs that loved to drool). Apparently we were “not thinking” when it was discovered what we were doing and we were told to stop it – NOW! Beside the fort was our sandbox in the shade of a huge evergreen. We spent hours playing with our Tonka trucks and Dinky cars and, like most boys, we also dug holes. One day in our exuberance, we started digging and just never stopped. After some time, mom looked out the kitchen window wondering where we had gotten to and came out the back door to call us in for lunch. My brother and I popped our heads out of the rather large hole to answer and we asked “what on earth are you two doing?” We thought it was quite obvious but failed to realize that as we dug down, hacking through roots as we went, we were weakening the tree at the foundation. We were told very vehemently that what we had done was wrong and to fill it back in and don’t do it again.
If you read the scriptures, the Old Testament is full of rules God handed down to us. These were not meant to hold us back but rather to protect us and, yes, direct us to a better path. God’s creation, His children, often rebelled because rules are meant to be “broken or tested”. My parents set up some very solid rules to live by, many of them biblically based, and, while we did push back on them, they still are an integral part of our personalities. When we were living as children, we needed the parameters but as we grew, rational thinking became a part of our makeup and our thought process changed quite a bit. The Old Testament had the pat rules but take a look through the New Testament and count the number of times Christ referred to the law and put it out there in a different way, “You have heard that it was said…but I say to you.” Take Matthew 5:21-24 for example;
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
Here we see rational thought and a positive solution being presented in such a way as to promote growth and peace for all involved. This is the message of the Christ. This Sunday, we will explore the “but I say to you” moments in the New Testament. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST.
Facebook Live - Main Ave Fellowship
YouTube Live – You Tube
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.