On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. Luke 2:21
We’re talking about opportunities for commitments this week. And the third is, obey the directions we’ve been given.
For Mary and Joseph, obeying meant following the Jewish law given by God to Moses a couple thousand years before. And it meant following God’s directions given nine months before.
God speaks both ways. There are the things that all of his people are called to obey. Love one another. And there are things that just I am called to obey. Love Nancy as Christ loved the Church.
Too often we want to throw off the old rules because we want to follow the next new thing. Or we ignore a specific direction because we prefer the abstract.
Mary and Joseph did both. The word to them was to name this baby Jesus. Not ALL babies were intended to be named Jesus. And they named him in the context of the rules that had been given to Moses for everyone who was Jewish: circumcise.
I have lots of conversations with people who are waiting to find out what God wants them to do. “God still wants me around for something.” “I wish I knew what job he wants me to do.” And we live however we want to live while we wait for a specific message.
We miss that God told Moses, and Jesus affirmed, “Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.”
This year, keep that law. Look for every possible way to love God and to love others. And when presented with a specific act of love, do that TOO.
The Sermon on the Mount helps us understand how Jesus invites us to live. Read more in my Kindle book Learning a New Routine.