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1 John 5:1-5, Faith Conquers the World

Monday, July 16

To Obey or Not Obey?

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

to obey or not obey?

Busted. If I'm being honest, I run my life like The Pirates of the Caribbean's pirates. When called out on their mistreatment of the pirate's code, Captain Barbossa said, "The code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules." My life's motto? Rules, schmules.

The upside of not following the rules is that sometimes you get a lot more out of life. Like with the commonly understood "rule" that the price that's listed is the price that it is. When I ignore the "rule" and ask for a better price, often I get it. Cha-ching!

The downside is, of course, sometimes it doesn't work in my favor. Like when I got a speeding ticket on my way to church one Sunday morning -- in my clerical collar! No breaks for the merciful, I guess. I suppose I should've known better.

God wants us to obey God. In fact, we are supposed to be identified as Christians by our ability to follow the rules. The challenge is, of course, are we talking about the laws of the land or the laws of God? The laws of the land once stated women could not vote and blacks could not share public spaces with whites. The laws currently state that families entering the US without permission are detained and separated. Those are probably laws of the land worth breaking because God's law of love trumps our laws of discrimination and systemic oppression of people. So maybe "obeying" isn't as simple as we might think. 

There will always be debates over the laws of the laws of the land, and how to interpret God's laws. As long as we strive for justice, peace, and love, the debate will always be worth the effort.

Narrative Lectionary Text: 1 John 5:1-5

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?