My sister, Paula, and I are reading a book together. She chose a book the first time that she has been wanting to read and it has been a good choice. We decided that our way of “discussing” it would be just using our blogs to “talk” to each other about it. So this week it is my turn and feel free to tune out if you wish or chime in if you wish!!! So here it goes.
Chapter 2: Joan Chittister’s The Ten Commandments: Laws of the Heart the focus is on the second commandment: You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain. And the chapter is titled The Law of Respect. On first reading of that commandment I have a pretty shallow concept and always have of what it means. I “assume” that it just means to not swear using God’s name. Something I don’t do so I figure I have that one licked. HA! Ms. Chittister sheds a little bit more depth to it than I had considered.
Much time is spent discussing the concept of a name and how it means different things to different cultures. In the Native American culture names are given to children that indicate a spirit that is seen in them. When children are named after their parents it denotes that lineage and links them to the past. And when Moses asked God “What is your name?” it has more to it than what appears on the surface. God’s response of “…I am who I am. I am Being. I am Life. I am Creator.” blows me away. I mean really….think about it. How can we even begin to imagine??? Which leads the author to even more thoughts about the second commandment that I hadn’t thought of!
Probably the part of this chapter that challenged me the most was the following exerpt:
“The second commandment tells us not only to risk the corruption of God’s name, it also tells us not to play with God’s name, with God’s being, with God’s power. It tells us to not use God’s name uselessly.It is useless to use God’s name to prove the untrue. It is useless, as well, to use God’s name to do what God would never do. This is the sin of those who put themselves in the place of God.”
Hmm…so are we talking about idle threats of bad things happening to someone because of a lifestyle choice or when we say that a natural disaster is because God is displeased?? Who gives us that right? And….are we trying to be God when we make those statements and judgments????
The author gives several things to ponder at the end of the chapter and several of them focus on things that I need to mull over more! But one stuck out to me that is making me think more. “God is not my own private, mobile hex sign meant to be used against anyone I don’t like. God is what calls me to be godly.” Think on it.