The word ‘obedience’ carries a lot of baggage for many of us. We may remember harsh teachers, parents or ministers who threatened us with pain and rejection unless we complied with the letter of their law. We may feel that any call to obedience robs us of our independence and individuality, and we may want to resist conforming or being part of what feels like a system of control. But there’s a reason that the old hymn connected obeying with trusting. When we feel that the law and those who uphold it are not trustworthy, we will always struggle with obedience. But, when we trust that the call to obedience is an invitation to live in ways that are in our best interests, we will comply far more easily.

The Bible makes no apology for calling us to obey God’s call. The way of Jesus is not the easiest path to follow and living by the values and priorities of Jesus is often painful. But the values and priorities of our world are clearly not working for all but a few, and we need a new way to be – a way that leads us into sharing with, caring for, and connecting with one another more deeply. This new way is what Jesus called the Reign of God, and obedience to this way leads us all into the best life possible for human beings.

This week we explore again the call – the invitation – to obey the ways of God’s Reign.

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