Archive for December, 2008

A harsh reminder of Dignity and Justice for all

December 29, 2008

One of the first responses to the Old Testament law as given in Deuteronomy is that it does not seem very forgiving. It seems to lay out very plain consequences for any of the injustices mentioned: small injustices have less severe consequences, large injustices have very severe consequences. Unlike our current laws in the US there is no room for “mitigating circumstances.” Injustice will not be tolerated.

A scan of the laws in Deuteronomy will also show a high value given for dignity, even law breakers have dignity. This particularly struck me in the case where if there is a fight between two men, if the wife of one of the men tires to help out her husband, but in the process grabs the other’s “private part” then her hand should be cut off. This kind of value of dignity is further seen in Davids refusal to lay a hand on King Saul and in the archangel Michael’s refusal to “slander” Satan. But as I consider this high value of dignity, I think of the lack of it on display in our culture.

In our current culture, many give a high value to such things as sacriligious humor, lack of respect for others and self-centeredness. Our popular music and television programs are filled with irreverance and sexual immorality: attitudes that reflect a lack of respect for others.

Wondering about ourselves

December 24, 2008

With the current tools of science we can see giant objects from the distant past that are hard to imagine. We can also see objects so small that they actually pass into and out of existence. The conditions necessary for us to live requre all sorts of special conditions that make our existence very tenuous … yet here we are, like ephemeral dust sprinkled on a pebble in the universe – self-conscious dust that wonders at the world, wonders if we have a purpose, wonders if we were created or if we are just a weird happenstance.

We cannot see all it’s dimensions, grasp all of its details or understand all of who we are.  All we have is glimpses, touches and nuggets of wisdom. But those glimpses, touches and nuggets are enough to let us connect to the one who made us all.


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