Divine Ordinances

Psalm 119:9-20

"With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth. I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in  all riches...Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law...do not hide your commandments from me." 

We don't typically think of "ordinances" as very wondrous or joyful things. In our contemporary lives, ordinances tell us what to do. They seem to box us in by telling us where we can build things, what we can't have around our houses, and how we have to park on the street. What could it mean that an ordinance would be joyful and even "wondrous?"

I think it means that as people who live in a troubled world, we long for guidance about things that are much more important than buildings and sidewalks and parking. Asking the questions "what does God want from us" and "how can I live in a way pleasing to God" helps provide that guidance. The message of Lent is not that our spiritual disciplines box us in or limit us. The message of Lent is that these disciples allow us to live toward the joy and wonder of a God who loves. 

So, what does God want from us? Scripture is a wonderful place to look. While all of the many detailed commands may seem daunting, the summary of the law is simple and clear: love the Lord your God with all of your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Decree, ordinance, rule...whatever you want to call it, it's the centerpiece of our faith, and it does seem wondrous.