Sharing in the Authentic Community

Deuteronomy 23:18-24:1

Synopsis     Deuteronomy 23:18-24:1     3/9/2018

Moses commanded that the children of Israel could not charge usury on money loaned to kindred. He allowed that usury could be charged to foreigners.

He also observed that when people make vows before the Lord God, that they must promptly fulfill their vows. Failure to fulfill vows was a cause for breach between the individual and God – one that God would punish. Moses also observed that no one was required to make a vow.

According to the command of Moses, Israelites were free to eat from the vineyards and grain fields of their neighbors without any special permission as long as they did not harvest and retain the food. They could only eat what they collected while at the field.

Sharing in the Authentic Community

Moses was demanding that the Israelites remain in absolute fraternity. This was the kind of sharing one might give with a beloved brother or sister – No counting the cost.

But there were 600,000 men Israel. How could anyone open themselves to sharing the fruit of their labor with so many? How could a reasonable person expose themselves in this way? They (the kindred) might eat everything. They might want to borrow what’s left. Who could take such a risk? How could anyone be this free?

Jesus’ Challenge

And then Jesus came. He ate from the field with unwashed hands but stored no grain. He accepted what He was given without looking to create a reserve. He received without inhibition and gave freely whatever He had.

And He said, “Do not worry about your life.”

And yet I still look in horrified wonder and amazement. I want to say, “and who is my brother?” But I know how He will respond.

There’s no way around Jesus’ love for the Authentic Community. He requires an absolute commitment.

“They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers” Acts 2:42

March 9, 2018

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