“Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.” (Deuteronomy 28:6)
A couple of things happened this week that I would like to share with you.
1) My sister (who is a good person) said that if we followed what was said in the Bible, we should stone to death all adulterers.
2) I went to visit my parents. I’ll come back to this.
My sister is right, and yet at the same time she is wrong. The Bible – especially the Old Testament – contains many laws and commandments for a “Holy life”. Moses, under instruction from God, has given the Israelites many rules which they must follow. And time and time again he urges them to do so. He frequently tells them what will happen if they don’t obey.
But in this verse, he is telling them what will happen if they DO obey. And doesn’t it sound good? Moses is so full of doom and gloom that it would be easy to slip into the habit of thinking that the Old Testament God is to be feared as full of anger. But here’s a glimpse of his kinder side too.
But for many people (and I would have included myself in this only a few weeks ago) the Bible is the equivalent of an impossible rule book. And if you should so much as break even one of the laws, well… fetch the stones!
This week, for the first time, I felt confident enough to speak out and defend the Bible! I believe that God allows us to make mistakes, as long as we are genuinely sorry for them. And God knows if we are sorry because he can see into our hearts and minds.
As Christians, we follow the teachings of Jesus. That goes without saying. But perhaps sometimes, it NEEDS saying? I told my sister that Jesus commanded us to “Love your neighbour.” Because it’s not up to us to pass judgement on others. We are all sinners to some degree. It’s our job to love everyone, whoever they are and whatever they’ve done.
Which brings me to my second thought. And this is very difficult for me to talk about.
I have, for many years, found my father a difficult person to get on with. I don’t want to go into it here. I have my reasons, and they are numerous. But recently, my relationship with my mother has also run into a bumpy patch.
It’s so easy to fill ones life with work and blogging and hobbies and gardening and church (you’d be amazed how much time “church” can take up) and before you know it, you don’t have time to visit.
So today, for the first time in weeks I went to see them. It was incredibly awkward. The damaged relationships will take a very long time to heal. Perhaps they never will…
But I did my “bit” and tried to follow what Jesus said.
Sometimes being a Christian is bloody hard work.