“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all
that He says.
There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you
would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself
over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him.
But trying in a new way, a less worried way.
Not doing these things in order to be saved,
but because He has begun to save you already.
Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions,
but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint
gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority.
“children were taught to show their parents obedience”
synonyms: compliance, acquiescence, tractability, amenability; More
antonyms: disobedience, rebellion
observance of a monastic rule.
“vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience”
Oooooo….don’t you just shutter when you hear that word?
It’s a burdensome sort of word for it requires things of us as well as from us….
and more times than not, the majority of us don’t like to have to be
“required” to do much of anything–anything we consider to be out of our circle of comfortable, happy living.
Because isn’t that what obey and obedience really mean, that we are required to do,
or not do, certain things….?
And yet our news has been rife with just that very thing.
“No it hasn’t” you counter “because this latest rushing of falling dominos,
we’ve been currently witnessing regarding improprieties, harassment and out right
full fledged advantage taking, doesn’t have anything to do with obedience….”
And then I simply remind you that “yes”….yes,it really does because the base
of all that we are watching and witnessing is exactly that….
obedience…or more accurately the lack of….”
Next I’ll then remind you just how much you had hated the very notion of obedience
that you even wrote it out of the traditional marriage vows eons ago…
because there was just something about that word, that notion,
that act that has been akin to rubbing the fur
of an animal in the wrong direction—it’s uncomfortable and seemingly,
Human beings, by their very nature, do not like to be nor do they want to be obedient.
It is an act of the will to do such. And to exert that will is hard, difficult,
taxing and tiring.
Yet be it because we want to be law abiding, a nice person, a good person, a cooperative
person, even a loving person… we tend to lean toward obedience—
And if we’re not careful, we can just as quickly be disobedient.
Ask any parent of a toddler, teenager or the owner of a young pet…they will tell
you right fast that the nature of obedience vs disobedience is truly a very
I’ve thought a lot about obedience as of late with each new tale of the rich
and infamous falling flat on their faces.
Us commoners have been doing it for eons,
falling on our faces in utter disobedience,
Yet the media seems to think the scions of all things political, newsy,
entertaining and even ministerial have somehow been exempt all these years….
And so now with these tales of the sick, twisted and powerful being just that,
the media outlets are in pandemonium, panic stricken to make sense of it
all while assuming some new disease has simply befallen mankind.
And yet those of us in the know just call that sin.
Man’s age old nemesis.
The list is endless…and the root lies in our disobedience.
I can say this because I know what it is to have been disobedient and sinful…
just like anyone else really…it’s just that as a Christian, I am more
keenly aware of my errors and of the healing Grace that has brought healing and
reconciliation to the God of whom I disobeyed.
Doesn’t make me any better than the next person.
Doesn’t make me anything ever being perfect…
And to top it all, I’m still very much susceptible to the ways
of disobedience and its ugly repercussions…
But as C.S. Lewis so eloquently reminds us in our day’s quote,
‘that the reason behind our seeking or desire to be obedient…is not because
of anything we may be getting in the end but rather because there is now
a faint glimmer of the Divine burning in
We seek Him not because of anything about us or in us or from us,
as none of this is about us, as we so often egotistically assume…
but rather we seek, we obey because of Him and Him alone—
because He has first sought us…
And once that has happened, there grows a thirst and unquenchable yearning
within our beings to seek Him out—along with the desire to “want” to be
in communion with Him and Him alone.
Listening to Bishop Ashenden’s Morning Prayer podcast yesterday morning,
I was keen upon hearing his offering from a reading by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
It was taken from Bonhoeffer’s book Discipleship…
The good Bishop explained that the obedience of an individual, as to the call
of Jesus, has nothing to do with some psychological reasoning on the part of said
individual but simply because of Jesus himself.
A Jesus only sort of thing.
As in He is the authority.
We, as disciples, follow….
and that is Grace….
Pure and simple.
It is because we “hear Jesus loving us…and thus respond….”
“Hear Jesus loving us….”
That notion resonated deeply within me as I was listening.
Not because of anything I’ve done or even not done…but He loves, is loving, me
none the less.
There is such a peace in that.
And it is in that Peace, that Love, that calls me to Obedience…
He offers and I readily accept.
As we see Obedience acting as Healer…
May we seek and heed the call to obedience rather than the crying out
and call to sin…
“If you love me, keep my commands.”