I'm reading another fascinating book on Paul, quite different in many ways from the one by Crossen and Borg. This one is by N.T. Wright. I want to share a bit of this morning's reading put into my words and understanding.
The Torah (Law given to Moses) was given by God to help keep people from collapsing into chaos until humanity matured. It was given to the Israelites, but not for them exclusively. It was to be shared with all people when the time was right.
Paul's thesis was partially that --- opening to the new life of living in Christ was the new Torah. The old ways were incorporated in the new way and were greatly expanded. The influx of Spirit brought this new life. People were made anew under a new internal covenant that fulfilled the one with Abraham. The Temple was now primarily within and circumcision was of the heart. The way to live was alive within each awakened-in-Christ person.
It seems to me that most of humanity still has not matured. We as a species are somewhere between 3rd graders scuffling on the playground and rebellious teen-agers who grow into adults that are slumbering in relation to God and Reality. History repeats itself ad nauseum. People are in the same predicaments as our ancestors.
Many Christians (and members of other religions too) are engaged in nonsensical theology made up by the ignorant. People who do not study history are indeed condemned to repeat it. People who do not want to know, who just want to be told, walk blindly to and fro.
Occassionally someone "gets it" and their Light shines brightly for all to see, and perhaps be persuaded by such a Light to follow in that direction rather than the world's darkness and nuttiness.
I am thinking that in this context, what I must do to the best of my ability is to work on myself. I can focus on those behaviors, ideas, people, etc. that are known to lead to awakening. I can do something with myself that I am unable to do with the mass of humanity. If we each worked in this way, there would be Lights in every city and countryside for others to find and follow the example and way. In this manner, there is hope.
Lord, knowing we live our entire lives in Your Presence, we turn more fully today to You, asking for help to take down the veils that keep us from knowing You in direct and personal ways. Fill us with Your Spirit. Awaken us to be all we can be and know all that is knowable about You - knowing that by virtue of being here on this planet, there are some parameters that may have to wait for another time and place to fall. But, as totally as possible while on earth, lead us to You, to Understanding, to Wisdom, to Love, to Oneness. There is a soft rising of joy coming up from the depths, as these words roll through me in new ways. I come ...