We enjoyed our first ‘road trip’ from Kingston today – across the ferry to Picton and Prince Edward County. It was magic – the history of the United Empire Loyalists, an artists’ studio tour, an antique fair in a fabulous crystal palace, the orchards with trees groaning with fruit. It was such a great day … that I almost forgot this post!
On our return, we stopped at a roadside stall to pick up some squash and corn for dinner. Just as we returned to our car, we spotted a rather well fed rabbit nibbling on the bounty of the stall that had fallen to the ground. I was reminded of the time we lived in the manse of Chateauguay, while I studied at Presbyterian College and McGill and served as a student minister with Maplewood Presbyterian Church. The house was at the end of a street, with an undeveloped hydro right-of-way beside. The back yard was large and also undeveloped. In our youthful enthusiasm, we tilled a large plot of ground, sowed an abundance of seeds and planted a myriad seedlings of every vegetable imaginable. We enjoyed our apprenticeship into gardening that summer. But I was more and more appreciative of the advice we had received at the beginning from a neighbour, to string a chicken wire fence up around the plot. As the weeks unfolded, we saw many rabbits drawn from the field beside to our backyard, and our produce would certainly have been enjoyed by others than ourselves without that fence.
That chicken wire fence has often reminded me of the positive dynamics of the Ten Commandments. The Holy One has raised them up amongst us, not to hold us back from life, but rather to keep the powers of this world from consuming our lives, to keep us in life.
And this morning we will be reminded of an even more moving dimension of the Ten Commandments. These ten ‘words’ (as they are called in the original Hebrew) are shared in the context of relationship, they are spoken in love by the Holy One to the people gathered in the wilderness and through them to all humanity. This Holy One has taken the initiative to be bound to humanity with intimacy and passion in covenant, but as we know from our own relationships only too well, commitment and faithfulness are needed by both partners. ‘You shall have no other gods before me … I am a jealous God’ (Exodus 20:3-6).
As Christians, this embrace, and call, of God we know most fully in Jesus Christ.
Join us in the worship of God. We will begin singing ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty’ and conclude by singing ‘To God be the glory’. After the service, join us for a monthly informal congregational lunch after the service. And in the bulletin below you will find invitations to grow in Christian faith, fellowship and service for the days to come.