Daily Lectionary Reading for Year A
Deuteronomy 5:22-6:3 continues the story of God giving to Moses the Ten Commandments, etched onto two stone tablets. God loves and cares for God's people and wants them to flourish. The commandments are intended to guide the people so that they can take care of themselves and one another. The commandments bring order to their community.
Since that time society has continued to add upon the law. The Mitzvot, or Jewish law and commandments given to Moses to guide everything from diet to worship would number 613. I was curious how many laws we have in the United States, and somewhat unsurprised that no one actually knows. Laws are continually changed, revised, rescinded, and passed making it nearly impossible to keep track of the total number of laws that are in effect at any given time. The best guess is that there are 3,000 criminal offenses. However, the person who led that study in the 1980's said, "You will have died and been resurrected three times..." and you still would not know how many laws are in place in the US.
Still, we try to follow where God leads us. It is good to regularly remember that we struggle. And so, today let us ask for and receive God's forgiveness and strive to live our lives with love and care for others.
God, we confess our day to day failure to be truly human. We confess that we often fail to love with all we have and are, often because we do not fully understand what loving means, often because we are afraid of risking ourselves. We cut ourselves off from each other and we build barriers. We confess that by silence and ill-considered word we have built up walls of prejudice. We confess that by selfishness and lack of sympathy we have stifled generosity and left little time for others. Holy Spirit, speak to us. Help us to receive your forgiveness and grow by your love. Come fill this moment and free us from sin. Amen.