Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Law and Grace

Yesterday morning I hit Psalms 119 in the cycle again--the psalm that is a test of its own theme.(*) As I read it I remembered Eldest Daughter telling me that the youth group leader had challenged them to try to memorize it.

OK, I'll grant that would be quite a challenge--and the kids in youth group are young enough to probably do it fairly easily. They can do a lot of things they don't realize they can, and should be encouraged to discover that, and practice some of the disciplines of the faith.

Still, now that I thought of it, it was an odd choice. Almost all of the Psalm is about the Law (**), while the church is about Grace. True, you have to know about the law before grace makes sense, but even middle school/junior high kids are quite old enough to have already done some serious scrambling of their lives, and the high schoolers even more so. Law law law sounds like an invitation to despair; especially for those of us who cannot hide our failings. (If we can hide our failings we can sometimes even kid ourselves that we love the law.)

Pair it with Galatians.

(*) I hope I may be forgiven for finding Psalm 119 much like those long sections of Numbers or I Chronicles spelling out who lived where. MEGO

(**) Verse 176 suggests grace: "I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands."

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