God’s Law—Human Tradition



Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) 2:8-13

Psalm 45:1-2, 7-10

James 1:17-27

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23


Cyril of Alexandria about 430 AD gave us an excellent image of this passage from the Song. Some things imply that the bridegroom is already present, whereas other things suggest that the bridegroom is being sought by the bride. For we too investigate some problems for which we do not know the solution and some problems, when the bridegroom and Word enlightens our hearts, which we find already solved. Then, in other matters, we doubt again and it is revealed to us anew. This will happen often until we possess the bridegroom fully, when he not only comes but also remains within us. ACCS

The Word of God, the Son of God, the Love of God comes to us as a lover to his intended. The Song, all eight chapters, expresses Agape. But the poetic images do make many of us uncomfortable, so the Song is seldom quoted or preached.

The poetry of Solomon seems to be in contrast to the words of Jesus in Mark but look again. You are so busy holding on to the traditions of men that you let go the commandment of God! Phillips He is saying, “You are missing the point!” Washing your hands before you eat is a good thing, but remaining loyal to God’s Word of Justice is more important.

Let us look at a more concrete example. There are about eleven million illegal immigrants living and working in the US, down from a high five years ago of twelve million. They come from every country in the world with the majority from Mexico, Central and South America. What would Jesus do?

It is a complex issue that I will not try to solve here, but if Jesus were to write a new immigration law, I believe he would reject all attempts to impose our human biases and hatreds. We no longer enforce the Chinese Exclusion Act and we have released the American-born citizens of Japanese descent from our concentration camps, but we still try to slow the immigration of certain peoples while allowing free access of others we perceive as “like us”.

It is these feelings, these frustrations, these antagonisms bubbling within us that we can control only with God’s Love. If I lose my job to a Mexican, legal immigrant or not, it is too easy to blame the entire class of Mexicans in American for that loss. In fact, it is always easier to blame others for our problems no matter who is really at fault.

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human angerMSG


Be righteous and do good.



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