Originally scheduled for May 22
the things to notice about the Old Testament law is that it is not
organized in the same way that laws and statutes of our time are
organized. If you look at our statute books you can easily see that
they are designed to allow someone to look up a particular
ordinance. Old Testament law was designed to be memorized by
repetition. (Remember, verse numbers associated with text in the
Bible came along about 1500 years after Christ.)
repetition carries with it a number of benefits.
primary one is that repetition turns learning into habit. The
repetition become so ingrained in your thought process that you can
repeat it in your sleep. More importantly, you understand it well
enough to repeat to others around you. What once was just repetition
now is habit of learned knowledge.
Next, once you get past the basics, your
subject is open to mental exploration.
When you have the
you can be curious about the rest. This
means that the knowledge in question is being stretched to
accommodate the limits of your brain. Some of us have very large
brain boundaries, and this can be quite the delight.
Finally, if the subject is important
enough, you learn to dwell on it because you find what you have
become so valuable. It is a joy to
course, there is the cheap imitation of sincere repetition. It’s
called “going through the motions.” In spiritual things, this is the
cheap fraud that Satan tries to sell you instead of the sincerity of
This is most
by the fact that it is a physical activity
only. You know how to go through the steps and make it look good.
That’s where you stop, before any real benefit is gained. No
It is accompanied by a
mental shutdown. You don’t want to think about it. What you really
want, as CS Lewis put it, is to “let sleeping worms lie.” You don’t
want your conscience bothered by what you’re doing.
Spiritually, this is a dangerous state.
The test of whether you are going through
not is simply this: do you value what
you’re doing, or do you want to get rid of it as quickly as
Communion follows these rules as well. If you do it sincerely, you
learn the basics of the faith quite well. Did you ever think of
communion as a help to evangelism? It highlights the essentials of
the faith quite well: sacrifice at the cross, death, burial,
resurrection and the grace of God. Time is given to you to
contemplate what you are doing; the mental exploration of these
things is well worth the time — even if that’s just
self-examination. Later, you can take the time to meditate on these
things — well worth doing.
mature in this, you will begin to see the value of contemplating the
Cross in your daily life. It is the gateway to the grace of God. The
ordeal of the cross, symbolized in communion, is the path of
forgiveness by God. It is also the path by which one grows as his
participate, do not forget to examine yourself. Ask, “am I doing
this sincerely, or just going through the motions?”