Archive for March, 2008

Words to meditate

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Words to meditate

Here’s a shot from the retreat I did last weekend about meditation and the Law. Taking Psalm 119 as our guide, we began listing words related to meditating upon the testimonies (10 Commandments) of God.

Sabbath and Adultery

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

I think the 10 Commandments reveal God’s wisdom for living in the land. Jesus fulfills the 10 words and then through the cross makes a way for the 10 words to be written in our hearts by the grace of the Holy Spirit. I am thinking that we can look through these commands and begin to see God’s wisdom at work on multiple levels. For example, We can look through two commands at once to find interesting implications about how the blessed life looks.

We are commanded to take Sabbath, 6 days of work, 1 day of rest and remembrance. Rest is rooted in the 6 day creation and 7th day of rest (enjoyment). Remembrance is the discipline to remember God’s provision for delivering His people from Egypt (slavery through wilderness to Promised Land). So we have two rhythms: 6 days of work, 1 day of celebration; and Egypt-Wilderness-Promised Land (or Death-Burial-Resurrection).

Now think of Sabbath in relation to the command, “Do not commit adultery.” This is the blessing of covenantal relationship. The slave mindset moves from relation to relation without the capacity to enter into permanent relationship. The free man can enter into covenant with another free woman for covenantal love.

Sabbath can shine light on fulfilling the covenant. 6 days to create and then celebrate. God creates and then enjoys the creation. In particular, He creates a world for His special love: Adam (and Eve) created in the image of God. So he works for 6 days to prepare the relationship and then takes a 7th day to celebrate.

We work to form and maintain the relationship, but we also must pause regularly to rest/enjoy/celebrate the gift of relation. This might be a meal, a day, a weekend. Time set aside to rest and enjoy. But also to remember. Sometimes the relationship goes through testing (wilderness). During the wilderness, we rest and remember the gift of covenant.

This rhythm of work and rest/remember is in contrast with adultery, which is work with no rest. It goes from one romance (working to create) to another romance (working to create) to another romance. Some people confuse romance for enjoyment, but romance is actually a precursor, a developmental stage for the long-term enjoyment (sabbath) of covenantal relationship. Those who move from romance to romance to romance will never know the fruit of covenantal love that blossoms after years of slow growth.

Jesus as the True King of Israel

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Jesus comes as the Messiah, the true King of Israel who serves with his life. He brings us into the land and fulfills the Law. Listen to a description from Deuteronomy 17 of the good king:

14 “When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.
18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

I am thinking it would be interesting to work through each aspect of the king’s responsibility in relation to the law and find Jesus fulfillment in the NT. Some jump out immediately. Then how does this relate to the land (world) today as we serve the good King?

Meditation on the Law

March 28, 2008 Leave a comment

I preparing for a retreat on the Law (and the Ten Commandments in particular). I am looking at law through a variety of lenses. While many of these overlap, there are nuances worth exploring that makes it helpful to create distinctions. Here are the lenses I am thinking of right now. If anyone has other lenses that might helpful to consider, I’d love to hear them:

  • Law Expression of Love
  • Law as Creative Power (Creation of Adam/creation song)
  • Law as Restorative Power (redemption song)
  • Law as Covenantal Gift
  • Law as Glory of the Lord (intimate)
  • Law as Charge to Enter into Promised Land (Deuteronomy parallel with Hebrews)
  • Law as the Root of the Fear of God
  • Law as the Seed (Growing up into Psalms, Wisdom, Kingdom Rule)
  • Law written in Stone/Law written in Flesh
  • Law fulfilled in Jesus (entirety of Word enfleshed in Jesus)

Spaces to Explore or Another Great Reason for Leopard

March 28, 2008 2 comments


I am slow. No wonder my middle school principal suggested that “college was probably not right for me.” It takes me a while to get it. So when I started exploring Leopard last fall, I didn’t the benefits of the “spaces.” I move through applications like the old pc guy that I am (apple-tab). But when I have ten applications running, accidentally clicking off the edge of window throws me from document window (where I’m writing a reflection on hope, love, peace, and all that stuff) to my flock window (where some guy is playing the star wars theme with hand farts).

Spaces gives bounadaries to these disparate worlds that may or may not should overlap. After watching a sales presentation yesterday where the speaker was jumping through spaces like an Olympic web surfer, I came up and started associating apps with spaces.

Now I’ve got plenty of space to roam with the wily Leopard.

Gifts with strings attached

March 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Just because a gift comes with “no strings attached” does not mean that it is a better gift than one “with strings attached.” A gift can come as an expression of invitation to a deeper relationship. By deeper relationship, I am indicating some greater level of exchange in shared intimacy. The gift of an engagement ring is an invitation to a deeper relationship with greater levels of intimacy.

If the invitation is a welcome one, the person receiving the gift delights in the “strings attached.”  This is a way for me to being thinking through the idea of covenantal gifts.

The ten commandments come not as a weight but as gifts of life (invitations to relation) with expectations of responsibility. This covenantal picture in the commandments is sometimes pictured as a marriage between Israel and YHWH. Thus the imagery in Isaiah and other places of the marraige with God’s people (and in the New Testament as the bride of Christ).

What is Meditation?

March 24, 2008 Leave a comment

As I read Psalm 119 in relation Deuteronomy 6 and Psalm 1, I meditation expanding from a reflection or prayerful study upon the Word of God to a life immersed (sitting, walking, lying, rising) in the Word of God (and in particular the 10 commandments). Meditation happens not simply in the mind/emotions but in the hands, the eyes, and the feet.

The Word moves toward incarnation. The pattern is all through Scripture. God speaks and His Word creates a world. “All things were made through Him (Logos/Word), and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). Meditation soaks, speaks, walk, acts and even sleeps the Word. The Ten Commandments (or Ten Words) are not ideas but that takes shapes from our thoughts into our bodies. Jesus, the Word made Flesh, reveals the Law, the Commands, the Word sitting, walking, lying and rising.

One of His big complaints against the Pharisees is that they only talk about the Word, they don’t do it. “Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do” (Matthew 23:3).

Meditation seems much deeper than simply reflecting, studying, praying through the Word. It seems to point to enfleshing the Word.

Categories: meditation, Word of God
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