Joyous, Yet Sad

Some things just need to be said, I guess.

It apparently would seem odd to some to look forward to the Day of Atonement, but I did this year. The past year has been especially busy, and it seems every year it means more to me. I am happily looking forward to the Feast of Tabernacles as well.

Yet, I guess that, according to some, that just means I’m being joyous in bondage. The Law is a yoke, according to them, you see. They will self-righteously knock anyone whom they perceive to be self-righteous. Trying to do the right thing is such a waste of time in their view. And, don’t even think about rejoicing on the Sabbath or on a Holy Day! These are just deluded into believing they must keep the Law, after all. They are simply being self-righteous, you see, since it is based upon an objective standard.

Love to those who think this way means freedom. Freedom from rules and regulations. Freedom to kill, maim and destroy each other through word, deed and attitudes without any restraint.

Biblical love, though is quite different.

6And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (2 John 1:6, King James Version)

1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:1-3, King James Version)

15If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15, King James Version)

34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35, King James Version)

I am saddened that some have lost what it really means to be a Christian. No, it isn’t really about rules and regulations. It is more about etiquette, and etiquette is about respect. When you respect someone, you follow certain customs and rules in order to keep from hurting them or others they care about. It is about doing what pleases our Father because He has given so much to us. While we cannot earn our salvation, should that stop us from even doing what is right?

God and Jesus constantly pointed to righteous and moral behavior as the standard. Jesus pointed out that we must keep the intent of the law, not just the letter. Someone trying to be righteous does not make him self-righteous.

I have no doubt that love exists in the Churches of God. You see, I didn’t think I was going to be able to go this year. It is through the kindness and love of others that I will be able to attend at all.

May you all have a joyous Feast of Tabernacles!

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