Tag Archives: Christ Jesus

Commandment Series: Prohibition of Physically Harming a Person

ten-commandments-400.hebrew abbrev“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”~ Mother Teresa

A few weeks ago, the Grands came and spent their first overnight.  The air mattress took up half of our living room.   Piled high with pillows, blankets, stuffed animals  and an occasional, rather large, choc lab or two jumping into the mix, they played, drew pictures, giggled and laughed until finally…Grandma and Papa gave the thumbs up to the start to “movie night”.  Popcorn crumbs.  Stray pieces of paper.  A cold nose of  a lab pressed into tiny hands.  By 9:30, both were sound asleep and content.  Love danced, much as David did, around our home in a big way.

I love Mother Teresa’s quote for this reason.  Love in the home teaches love for those outside the home.  But as we all know, it is not always easy.  After all, people are different.  Different colors.  Different beliefs.  Different mindsets.  Different everything.  There is not one person that is the exact duplicate of someone else.  Buckeyes falling from a buckeye tree.  To love someone that we totally dislike is…sometimes…lol…most times, one enormous, challenging, overpowering test thrown into our life journey.  To kill – whether it is emotionally, physically, spiritually, verbally – hits all of us at one time or another.

“You shall not murder.” Ex 20:13

the-sixth-commandment-GoodSalt-lwjas0406In the Old Testament, God wrote upon the tablets a pretty simple concept.  Don’t kill anybody physically.  Jewish tradition still looks at in a fairly straight forward way.  Don’t physically harm anyone.  I like to think that these were simple commands because the Jewish people were babies in Faith.  When we are raising babies, we don’t use long complicated stories or sentences to get our point across.  Everything is stated in the simplest terms possible.  “NO!”  “STOP!”  “OK!” “GO” The Jewish people were the first to stand on their faith in Jehovah-Tsid-Kenu. By the time of the New Covenant when Rabbi Yeshua walked this earth, He could already see where we were headed.  There were already many ways to destroy a life.  So He used a more complicated parable to support and expand this radical concept – LOVE, PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMIES.  loveyourenemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matt 5:43-48

When we watch the news and see all the pain, degradation and mutilation that humans do to each other, we often feel anger and revenge thoughts enter into our sphere.  When a loved one shatters a vow, a trust we have placed in them, those thoughts appear just as strongly.  Yet, thankfully, most of us never resort to a physical murder. We’ve become pretty sophisticated.  We use psychological or emotional “murder” instead.  A FB post full of a few choice words – retaliation (an eye for an eye) – revealing a secret or two.  “Killing” words can be pretty damaging these days.  When I’m hurting I force myself to start looking for positive words instead of concentrating on all the injustice of the world that can be flashed across all our screens in high definition video – or living through a more personal bump in my life road (that feels like I’m watching a high definition video).  I kick my rear end in gear and into the book of Matthew and remind myself about the commandments of the New Covenant or cry as I sing the Psalms in my heart.  The promises that Our Father says over and over reassure me, and I can pray with a healing heart.

Jewish tradition has another neat way of looking at things.  Their Sages have written that as one sleeps, their souls ascend to Heaven.  While they are there, heaven-of-angelsthey record in Heaven’s books all the things that they did during their day.  Then they sign the book.  Traditionally, as practicing Jews say the Shema, (“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deut 6:4-5,)  they are also thanking God for returning their soul at the start of a new day.

If we all thought we were traveling to Heaven at the end of our day to write about all the things we did or said, would it make a difference? Would it make “Thou Shalt Not Kill” (meaning more than the physical act), more real to us?  Would it make it easier to obey?  I have found that I like thinking about this Jewish tradition. Traveling to Heaven each night, writing my part of the daily human existence in the Book of Life, signing my name at the bottom, and then thanking God when I awake in the morning seems like a fantastic way to start each day of my life.  Wisdom and discernment make the sixth commandment a little easier to obey. Just another choice.

(Google images)

 

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GOD STAR

saiya 9 14 14Immortal, invisible, God only wise… 

The Granddaughter has a name for it.  She calls it the “God Star”.  She generally colors it in yellow.  She sets it on buildings.  She sets it floating in the sky.  Yesterday, she set it attached to a huge pink and yellow heart with two giant Easter eggs on either side of it, and the beginning of a rainbow overhead (she got sidetracked).  Seriously, you have to love how a child sees things.   Maybe it is because I taught school for over 40 years, or maybe it is just because I am hopeful for the next generation, or maybe it is because my father wrote me one letter in my whole life and in it he said:  “And believe it or not, most of that light comes from the children”.  I only know I want to see things as my Father(s) see things.

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”  Matt 18:3-5 

God has been bringing the “God Star” to my thoughts a lot the past few days.  The news, obviously, has been a catalyst.  The reports of crucifixions in today’s world seem unthinkable.  Even be-headings takes on a nightmarish quality as I try to pinch myself awake.  I pray.  I look up.  I wonder.  I read more and more of the WORD.  And…as I hug the Grands ever tighter, I pray some  more that I will “become like little children” in all things. 

Most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days… 

Our minister has spent over a month teaching us to pray using the pattern that Rabbe Yeshua set before us in Luke 11.  You know – “The Our Father” one – the one we were taught to memorize on our knees with our parents – the one we recited every Sunday in church – the one that comes to mind whenever we are fearful, sad, angry, in pain.  The one we say by rote without even thinking about what those words mean.  It is just something we say, and sometimes, sadly, it has no meaning at all as we look at the clock and wonder how soon we can leave church and get busy with the important stuff in the rest of our day. However, times are changing, and the words are becoming more than just words.

Forgive us our sins, for [as] we also forgive everyone who sins against us…” Lk 11:4

I’m smiling because we are only half way through our study in this model prayer, and we started it a month ago. With the pastor’s words in my head, I thought a lot about what Jesus was saying in this small section of how He was teaching us to pray.  Asking God to forgive me for my sins is a daily occurrence.  Although I’ve gotten control of many things, there are oh so many more to go.  Resentment.  Doubts.  Fears.  Envy.  Old trespasses, grudges, hurts  that I keep imagining or nursing deep in my memory banks.  Forgiveness of those who sin against us is not as easy as just saying the words aloud or to ourselves.  Course, Satan is only too glad to remind us by using a smell, a slight, a piece of music, a picture to stir our emotions and amplify those old hurts right back to the fore front of our mind.  None of any of which is easy for me. 

“Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.” 

However during church, this visual popped in my head.  Forgiveness is literally my granddaughter’s “God Star”.  Vertically, Our Father forgives us – totally – completely – repristination.  It is a unending,  A wide, golden ray that stretches all the way from Him, breaking the sin barrier of this fallen world, and blessing us in its encompassing, golden waves.  Our forgiveness becomes another golden ray, slightly less wide because our faith is still weak, that reaches horizontally to those around us on this plane.  If we forgive others as He forgives us, the “God Star” is complete, and we become the blessing to the world as Rabbe Yeshua modeled it for us.  Once again, it is not easy – especially when it is someone we love that hurts us.  Yet, isn’t that what we did when we allowed Christ Jesus to be crucified?  We hurt Our Father deeply, and still – He wipes it completely away with His Grace.  Can we not do likewise?

“Father, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us…”godstar b