Today is Wednesday the 15th of March, in the third week of Lent.
The monks of Pluscarden Abbey sing the Benedictus: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy men, those who were his prophets from of old. A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us.
So his love for our ancestors is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered. He swore to Abraham our father to grant us, that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes, we might serve him in holiness and justice all the days of our life in his presence.”
Today’s reading is from the book of Deuteronomy.
So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you.
See, just as the Lord my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!’ For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?
But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children.
These are the words of the great Old Testament leader, Moses, ‘charged’ by God with a task. He addresses the Israelites, laying out the laws of God, as they approach a new beginning in the promised land.
But it isn’t a mechanical obedience that he is expecting. Yes, he urges diligence in obedience, but it’s a diligence which will lead to wisdom and discernment, and a sense of God being near. Stay with those thoughts for a moment. Diligence. Wisdom. Discernment. God being near…
What is your response to obeying God, on a personal level?
What about on a corporate level, or a global level?
As you hear the passage again, try and reflect on the character of God. Reflect on your image of God.
As this prayer time comes to an end, you might like to ask God for a glimpse into aspects of God’s character you haven’t seen before. Ask God to widen your vision…
You have given all to me,
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is Yours, do with it what you will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace,
That is enough for me.