Prayer for the day
Early in the morning I cry out to you, for in your word is my trust.
Scripture for the day
The people of Israel had been through a terrible ordeal in being exiled. They had rediscovered the law of their God, and they were working to rebuild the temple of their God.
In the midst of all of this, they come together under the common decision to recommit themselves to this God. They stand before him and commit themselves not only to following the letter of the law, but to following the spirit. They speak out of a sense of gratitude and passion that is undeniable. They seek not necessarily to pacify this God…they seek to serve this God. And their service to this YHWH God takes the form of commitment.
Commitment is not something easy, nor is it something common, either in the time of the Israelites, or now. Commitment is the determination to do whatever is necessary to stay true to relationship. It means doing what is required, always and forever, intending that whatever happens, we will be faithful to our word, through action as well as speech.
In the Second Testament story of Peter and John, they are dragged before the religious leaders to give an account of the power they wielded in healing the lame man who had been begging. As they stand before the leaders, they are commanded to cease preaching in the name of their Lord, this Jesus, the one they follow. This must have been an ordeal for them. The men before whom they stood wielded significant spiritual and political power. These were not men to be trifled with.
Yet Peter and John recognize that their surroundings and context must not be allowed to dictate the shape of their obedience. They are committed to Jesus, no matter what, and so with further threats facing them, Peter and John stand firm, claiming that they can do nothing but speak the truth. And they do.
How about you? Will you continue in your commitment, even when the going gets tough?