Monday 3 February 2020

Saturday of Week 5 Year 2

I believe most of us know that God's commandments, as well as Jesus' commandments of loving God and neighbour, are the basis for church rules and practices, whereas customs are traditional and widely accepted ways of behaving or doing something in the church community. Such rules, practices and customs did not materialise overnight, and they are meant for the good of the entire Christian community, not just for the good of a few. However, we sometimes come across certain persons or groups who are against such rules, practices and customs, because such persons or groups want things their way and for their benefit.

In today's reading, we come across Jeorboam who did not like certain rules, practices or customs among the Israelites; and Jeroboam thought to himself, ‘As things are, the kingdom will revert to the House of David. If this people continues to go up to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, the people’s heart will turn back again to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will put me to death.’ And so, Jeroboam created his own gods, by making two golden calves; he got the people to worship such false gods; "He set up the temple of the high places and appointed priests from ordinary families, who were not of the sons of Levi"; and even had the audacity to "institute a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth of the month, like the feast that was kept in Judah." Jeroboam did all these because he did not like certain rules, practices or customs among the Israelites, and he wanted to save his own skin. As a result, "such conduct made the House of Jeroboam a sinful House, and caused its ruin and extinction from the face of the earth."

What about us? When we are faced with certain church rules, practices or customs, would we change or discard such rules, practices or customs as we please, just because they are inconvenient to us or we feel uncomfortable towards them? Is faith like changing clothes, where we discard things which we are unable to accept? May we continue to be faithful, and walk in God's ways.

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