Sun, 23 December 2018
How many laws are there in the United States? No one is exactly sure. It may be that no one can count that high! They’ve been accumulating, of course, for more than 200 years. When federal laws were first collected and printed in 1927, they fit into one single volume. By the 1980s, there were 50 volumes.
The federal tax code alone contains millions of words and is some 6500 pages in length. There are about 20,000 regulations governing the use and ownership of guns. According to congressional testimony, there may be as many as 300,000 regulations that can be enforced criminally.
If there is any good news about our current congress that is virtually gridlocked, it’s that the pace of new laws being added to the books has slowed. In a recent year only 90 new laws were passed.
This is expansion of laws is not unique to the United States. The Jewish people were given 10 Commandments by God through Moses. Pretty simple. But that grew to 613 laws and rules in the larger Pentateuch. An oral body of law emerged beyond those 613. It was finally put into writing and called the Talmud. It is over 6,200 pages of additional regulations.
From 10 to 613 to 6,200!
In the US, from 1 volume of laws to 50 to 300,000 regulations!
Wouldn’t it be great if this mass of burdensome laws could be summed up into one? Where are the CliffsNotes?!
I have good news this Christmas!
God in Christ gave us one law and his law is love—love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. If we would but love, we would need no other law. Love is the fulfillment of the law!
All the righteous demands of the law were filled by Christ in his incarnation. He alone has loved perfectly. That is the real gift of Christmas—his love for us and his love through us!
This Sunday at Istrouma we will marvel afresh at God’s gift of love. Join us!
The Thrill of Hope
“His Law Is Love”
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another(13:34a).
. . . just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another(13:34b).
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (13:35).