Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
How do we read the Deuteronomy texts in the context of more than one year of suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and in the regeneration of the world’s ecosystem? The Deuteronomy texts speak of life rather than perfection (4:1). Statutes and ordinances are intended to be the wisdom of the years to come so that we may learn and benefit from the experiences of previous experiences to enable flourishing life.
Moses’ address presumes the helplessness of the people and their need for a more secure future. The “statutes and ordinances” of God call for a different way of living. Walking the path of obedience will result in flourishing in the land that God offers them. But this way requires radical change since it calls for a way of life that differs from the dominant culture bent on denying full life for all. Greed is never presented as a motivation for obedience. Rather a willingness to participate in formation, to be God’s people, to live by God’s standards, and to express the radical difference of identity that comes with belonging to the community of God’s people serve as the desire to obedience.
Obedience is not simply a pious individual concern. Obedience serves a public function of witnessing to the worth of the way of God. In this passage, other nations will take notice of the different choices, values, and character of God’s people, seen here as “wisdom and discernment” (v. 6). Obedience is not merely self-serving. Instead obedience enables restoration to perform the vital work of witness and the creation of community built upon “statutes and ordinances” that are good for the world. This passage encourages us to take advantage of the new opportunity that God gives us to become an ideal community and to actively participate in sustaining that ideal community.
-Ramthanga, CWM Board of Directors
Let us pray for the world and the people who live in it that all may catch God’s vision of full life-flourishing for all.
Let us pray for PCM’s missionaries and deportees in Rakhine State and Paletwa Township.
Presbyterian Church of Myanmar
Students: All secular schools, colleges and theological colleges are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students have lost one year of studying time since they could not study online.
All local church members: Worship services and other activities could not take place due to restrictions on social gatherings. Church income for mission work is decreasing since these services are restricted.
The poor: Many church members depend on their daily wages for survival. Some could not support their family since there is a lack of job opportunities for them.
The mission field: PCM is doing her mission work primarily in conflict zones by sending missionaries to Rakhine, Ann and Paletwah where the local and government armies are always at tension with each other.
Image by PCM