Sunday, 23 January 2022
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The subject of the tension between Law and Grace is quite an "elephant," if you will allow me the metaphor. The subject is huge and at the same time, it's imaginary.
What do I mean by that? It was never God's intension to place Law and Grace at odds with each other. Man's imagination put tension between legalism and Grace. God revealed His mind (knowledge and wisdom) for human beings to have a long, happy and healthy life through obedience to His commandments. Through Grace we have the God-given desire (and ability) to live according to the revealed wisdom of God.
Legalism is not the Law itself, but the idea that we can perform our way into pleasing God. Let me give you this analogy first given to me by my Rabbi, David Chansky. If God were to ask you for a cup of water, legalism focuses on the delivery of the cup, what size, how full, what temperature, etc.
Grace, however; focuses on the heart. It's your attitude while getting God His cup of water that makes all the difference. If you trip and spill the water during delivery, God is there to pick you up, dust you off, and give you a kiss for your heart's desire to please Him. It was never about the water, it's about pleasing God.
Now let's fill in the blank. Shabbat candles? What time to light them? How long should they burn? Can they be moved? Are you allowed to use them for light? How much light? It's not about the candles, it's about making a distinction between the darkness of the regular work week and the light of Shabbat, and your heart to show that. And remember, even one candle overcomes all the darkness.
John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,