The Word Is Very Near To You
During my reading this morning, I read the following passage from the Hebrew Scriptures, Deuteronomy chapter 30:11-14:
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.Something about this passage resonated with me today. In this portion of the Torah, God is working out the details of God's covenant with God's people. And there's such beauty in this back and forth between them.
God seems to be saying here:
"In the end, all of this is pretty simple--I'm not asking you to do anything that you are not capable of doing. Just hold on to this one down-to-earth truth: The words of life are close to you--so close that you might say they are inside you already."Or as Jesus would put it centuries later:
"Don't try to over-complicate this or read too deeply into all of the rules and regulations. Because the kingdom of God is already within you."We do try to over-complicate our relationship with God, don't we? I know that I do, and far too often. I will keep adding layers and layers to what I feel I need to do in order to be connected with God. And it's often those layers themselves that keep me insulated from experiencing God.
Michael Gungor recently wrote:
When spiritual practice is about somewhere other than here or now, it is not good spiritual practice. That is nothing but ego gratification. Good spiritual practice is whatever helps us become more present to THIS.And "THIS" in my opinion is connectedness with God---the experience of the Divine that can be best experienced by being present in the moment, grounded in Creation, rooted in faith.
May this be true for you, now and forever. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.