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Posts Tagged ‘intimate relationship with God’


Matthew 5: God’s Yardstick – The Law of Love – Part I

Happiness and the Beatitudeslaw-of-love

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

In these opening days of a new year, we have looked at women in scripture who see and use God’s yardstick in their lives. Over the next few days we explore how we find God’s yardstick in both Old and New Scripture.

As we move from the Old Testament to the New, God is moving us away from the external, vengeful, jealous, patriarchal God to a God of the internal. Through the prophet, God promises us a new covenant to replace the old. The Lord says, “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.  It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people”. (Jeremiah 31:31-33)

God who writes the covenant of love on our hearts, also comes among us a human. God who promises to redeem and save, also comes to dwell within as Spirit. In the Old Testament, God rewards good people and punishes the bad in order to gain their trust. In the New Testament, God calls us to spiritual maturity, God calls us to perfect union, to deep intimacy (Psalms 42 and 62). In the New Testament God asks that we accept the Creator, the giver . . . rather than the gifts.

love-one-anotherJeff Cavins, in his lecture on Matthew 5, outlines four levels of happiness: 1) instant gratification, 2) personal achievement, 3) philanthropy, and 4) union with God. The first two are about the self; the second two are about the other. Level one concerns the ego and what it can find, acquire or possess. Level two refers to awards we receive. Both of these levels give immediate satisfaction but are not lasting because, as scripture points out, we are created for more than this. In Level three we begin to move outside of ourselves to care about others, but this still is not lasting, not beatific. It is when we arrive at Level four that we find real happiness, real communion with our creator, intimate union with God. This is the union for which we are created. This is the Law of Love that supersedes the Mosaic Law of the Covenant. This is the measure with which God measures creation.

Tomorrow, The Sermons on the Mount and the Plain.


Adapted from a Favorite written on January 5, 2007.

Jeff Cavins visit: http://jeffcavins.com/

Images from: https://edifier1.wordpress.com/tag/the-law-of-love-lessons-from-the-pages-of-deuteronomy/ and https://www.huttobible.com/a-year-through-the-new-testament/post/2-john-1-a-simple-request:-love-one-another

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Ezekiel 1Cherubim

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Written on March 4, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite.

More than a year ago we looked at the Cherubim in one of our Noontimes in connection with the opening nine chapters of the Book of Wisdom.

When I think of Wisdom I often think of the description we have read of the winged Cherubim that arch over the Ark in the Holy of Holies (1 Kings 6-8), that place in the deepest interior of the Jerusalem temple, that place reserved for men only, that place to which Wisdom drew her priests.  Scripture describes these creatures as guarding the eastern gate of Eden (Genesis 3:24).  The Hebrews fashion Cherubim that watch over the desert Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25, 26, 36, 37 and Numbers 7), and later in the New Testament the writer of the letter to the Hebrews (9) recalls this image to his audience.  The Cherubim remain with the Ark and with these desert people through David’s time (1 Samuel 4) until a permanent kingdom is established when we see them in Solomon’s temple as glorious guardians and companions of the place where God takes up residence.  In Psalms and prayers, the Lord is often seen as seated among or between Cherubim; and in these songs when we place ourselves “beneath the wing” or “in the shadow of the wing” of God, this is the place we find ourselves.  I like to think of these Cherubim as Wisdom, living close by God but calling to us to sit in praise of God . . . for this is where Wisdom finds her most comfortable nest. 

When we look at this opening chapter of Ezekiel, we see that God sits on a throne carried by winged Cherubim.  To read more about the mythological and physical origin of these creatures we can go to: http://www.pantheon.org/articles/c/cherubim.html  or to http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03646c.htm .

Creatures that live this close to God must be special indeed; yet these beings are no more important to God than each of us.  If we might think about being as close to God as the Cherubim, if we might create an image of the power needed to pull any chariot large enough to encompass our God, if we can imagine the magnitude of wisdom that these creatures symbolize . . . we are well on our way to comprehending the love that God has for us.

As the NEW ADVENT website points out, to Catholics these creatures are more than symbolic.  They are ministers who have an intimate and intense understanding of who God is and how he moves in our lives.  In the fullness of this knowledge they have become “sublime hosts” to God’s presence.

We see these creatures again in Revelation and still they have their fantastic and unique place in God’s kingdom, they are the wheels of God, the wisdom with which and through which God operates.  They are in constant praise of God, and they continually glory in his being and presence.

We might put ourselves in the place of these creatures for a few moments this afternoon and we might contemplate our own imagery of wisdom.  What is it exactly?  How does it operate?  Where does it take us?  To what does it call us?  Why do we seek it?

And then we might sit with these verses for awhile to meditate on them and on what drives our own lives: Wherever the spirit wished to go, there the wheels went . . . such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. 


A re-post from August 22, 2011.

Image from: http://www.bibleorigins.net/CherubimColossalinHolyofHolies.html

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