From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 3rd Sunday in Lent

Hi everyone,

I know this post is a day late, but I had a pretty full day yesterday with another service to lead after our own, and I didn’t really get home until it was about time for dinner so I didn’t get a chance to sit down at my desk to write anyway. We have this rule in our family that if it’s a school night, the kids can only play on their screens until dinner time and after that it’s basically dessert, clean up, and get ready for bed (all this somehow takes a span of roughly 2 hours). They don’t really have time to play with their screens after dinner anyway, but somehow it’s still a point of contention with them from time to time.

I get that they enjoy playing, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that they could or should play forever. And they somehow forget that they’re free to play a lot of screens from the time they get home all the way to dinner time (if they don’t have homework or other things to do). Somehow the focus is on that 2 hours between dinner and bed time that they can’t (which again, is filled with eating, cleaning up, and getting ready for bed anyway).

Still, it’s something to complain about, I guess. And I can’t really blame them either, because I know I do that all the time too.

Here are the readings for this upcoming Sunday:
Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
John 2:13-22

I remember as a kid, I hated reading about the 10 Commandments, because it was just another bunch of rules that I had to follow. Not that I was dying to work on the Sabbath or kill someone, but it is sometimes hard work to focus on all these things we shan’t do. It made my faith a little hard to bear.

To make sense of it, I remember writing a skit for a gospel presentation I did for LUMS way back when I was in high school (I call it a “gospel presentation” because I really don’t think I can classify it as a sermon), where I had a guy who was fixated on the rules instead of seeing the freedoms that he had. It caused him to want to break the rules, which was only to his own detriment.

And while that might sound pretty good for a high school kid, I now in hindsight think that I was focussed on the wrong thing as well. Someone (and I wish I remember who it was so I can give them credit) framed it for me like this: Instead of seeing it as things that we must not do, see it as things we are free from having to do.

In that, we are free from thinking that we need to steal, perhaps to make us feel better about ourselves. We are free from the hatred that will cause us to harm another human being. We are free from comparing our worth with our neighbour’s worth.

Essentially, we are free from sin.

And that is something that I can totally get behind. Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash

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