Should it really feel like a guilt-trip? Guilt is only good for one thing…to lead us to repentance. But it’s not the most powerful motivator…as if our feeling terrible about ourselves will somehow miraculously give us the right attitude toward change. Love on the other hand…now that’s a wonderful motivator!
Please don’t get me wrong…the commandments are so very important. Our Lord gave them to us. And we do have obligations in this Church. However, I just feel that sometimes…lots of times…we spend so much church time talking about the commandments, and our responsibilities and duties, that there is not much time left to talk about our Lord. Our Lord!…Our blessed Savior, who is bound and determined to rescue us at all costs. Now that’s something we could talk more about! I LOVE the phrase in Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep…where the shepherd leaves the ninety and nine and goes after that sheep which is lost, “until He find it” (Luke 15: 4). Oh, that gives me so much hope! That doesn’t sound like a Shepherd who is going to be giving up any time soon. No, Christ is a faithful, relentlessly pursuing Shepherd. He is determined to gather us unto Him, lift us upon His shoulders, and carry us home. He will not rest till we are safe in our Father’s arms. Now, we can reject Him over and over again, if we choose. But, if we don’t get back to our Father, it won’t be because our Savior didn’t expend every possible, creative, exhaustive effort to get us there.
So, yes, let’s talk about the commandments, the keeping of which, brings such added peace and comfort to our lives. But let’s also give equal time to our loving, sacrificing Father, who concocted a plan of atonement in our behalf…a plan that would, of necessity, bring tortuous death to His Beloved Son. And let’s talk about our cherished Savior, who offered Himself up as this great sacrifice, and who, without thought of cost to Himself, is determined to be the most faithful Shepherd of all!
Tell each other!