A few days ago, I saw on TV a story about the North Georgia popular attraction of the Ten Commandments displayed in stone on a hillside. Many people visit this sight every year. A reporter interviewed a spokesperson who told of people being converted to Christianity when they saw this impressive site.
It flashed in my mind that Moses brought those laws down from the mountain a long time before Jesus lived. Christianity is deeply rooted in the Jewish Faith. When in the fullness of time “the Word became flesh,” it was in the person of a Jew. It is a mistake to read scripture in reverse and make Moses and Abraham Christians. It is not a mistake to see the Old Testament story preparing the way for The Word to be made flesh. Like no other people, the Hebrews struggled with the meaning of life and their relationship to God. They asked the deep question, “What does the Lord require of us?” It is important to remember that Jesus, Paul, Simon Peter, Luke, James, John, and all the others were Jews. I know this is not some great discovery on my part. The segment about the Ten Commandments display made me think about these connections and be grateful.
Micah answered the question long ago about what is required. Jesus lived it and directed us to love one another and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We cannot talk about loving God if we do not learn how to love our neighbor. Nothing can separate us from the neighborhood…….It is full of folks who are hard to like, much less love. So many people are so different and seem strange. So what do we do? We form an “in” group that we can love because they look like us, think like us, and worship like us.
Here is an idea! Instead of putting the Ten Commandments on a hillside or in the court house, let’s write two on the flesh tablet of the heart: “Love God with all your being and doing and love all those other folks on the “Spaceship Earth” with us, yes even those we find so hard to love.” As Christians, we are deeply indebted to our spiritual ancestors whom we meet in the pages of the Old Testament.
Talmage Boyd Skinner