Rules, rules, and more rules

No one likes having rules imposed, … unless they are the rules they agree with. Over the last few years we’ve seen an unprecedented number of rules introduced in our lives. Some people would say a number of those rules were imposed to keep us safe. Others would say those rules limited our freedom. I’m sure there are even others who would say that some of the rules did both — keep us safe, and limiting us.

Not rules, but commandments

Biblically, we don’t speak of rules so much as we speak of commandments — the most important ones being the Ten Commandments. In some ways, these are rules that are designed to keep our community — all of God’s communities — the community that is humanity — together and safe.

They do limit us though. We can’t simply do what we want, when we want, and how we want. Many of us can see the benefit of that. Not being concerned about being killed, or robed, or lied about make it easier to live life. Not being concerned about which god (yes small ‘g’) to follow for direction and protection is a good thing (IF we agree with our understanding of our god.)

New rules, new commandments

As a new community of faith, we have an opportunity to shape our new rules and new commandments. Sure, they’ll be moulded within the traditions we bring into this community — our Anglican, Lutheran and Biblical traditions. The opportunity here though is to do something new, and different.

As we discern what our community will be like, how it will honour our traditions, and how it will be new and different, we don’t have the blessing that Moses had when he went up the mountain and received the stone tablets. Instead we come together and try to discern God’s will when each one of us has the potential to hear that differently.

Combining the Lutheran notion that a local community judges what is good and right as an exposition of God’s word, and the Anglican notion that we respect the dignity of each human being can lead us to something new. Respecting diverging opinions within community is hard work. Fortunately our God is with us, reminding us that the greatest way for us to act is through love.

May our rule of life be as simple as: love.