Fulfilling the Law

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalm 75, 76 (Morning)
Psalm 23, 27 (Evening)
2 Kings 2:1-18
1 Cor. 4:1-7
Matt. 5:17-20

Fulfilling the Law

In our Old Testament reading today, we find the story of an obstinate prophet, who despite being told to stay behind three times, will not leave his mentor’s side. This can be an interesting perspective on how sometimes our convictions fueled by the Spirit can lead us in ways that seem to contradict what we are “told” to do. When Elijah asks Elisha what he wants from him before he leaves him, Elisha asks “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit”. Elisha knows that Elijah’s spirit, his drive and conviction and connection to God, was the key to his success. Then Elijah is taken in the iconic “Chariot of Fire”, which would have certainly provided Elisha with some of the inspiration he was seeking.

In today’s Epistle, Paul is writing the Corinthians about addressing judgement and conviction. So often we hold ourselves or others in judgement, more critical and unforgiving than needed, and this can be seen as a message of release. Releasing the judgment to God helps us keep our judgement of ourselves and others in check, and opens us to receive and share the forgiveness of God.

In our Gospel reading, Jesus explains that he has come not to “abolish” the law, but to fulfill it. The law that his community lived by was so exacting and particular, and the things he was proposing seemed to contradict that law in many ways. We can interpret that Jesus was speaking of an “evolution” of the law, keeping the connection to the history and heritage, but looking to open it’s meaning to better serve the whole world. We find that even today, our own versions of the “Law” that we expect others to follow can create obstacles in the way of reaching and hearing those who we are called to serve. In this way, this Gospel can be seen as a call to us to seek to fulfill those with whom we feel we have conflict or differences, rather than abolish them.

May God’s peace be with you today.

Written by Dan Robinson

Dan is the Director of Media Ministries at St Paul’s, and serves as a Homilist for the Wednesday evening congregation.

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