Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Remembering for Obedience
The Creative Word: Canon as a Model for Biblical Education, Second Ed.,
Walter Brueggemann, Fortress Press, 2015, page 54
Brueggemann points out how remembering is crucial to obedience.
Deuteronomy holds the passionate conviction that one can live timefully with hope and faith in the land. Deuteronomy is he assertion that one can live towards G-d and for neighbour in the land; it is the claim that the land is not decisive for the shape of existence. Even in the land, Israel will not deny its calling. So there is a call to remember. Only remembering will hold Israel to its calling.
So the Torah has the expectation that Israel will be true to its calling and mission, even among the temptations of the land. Are we faithful to our calling among the temptations of the modern world? Do we remember? Brueggemann continues:
So our "teaching exchanges" with which we have begun, between children and adults, are not only an urging to remember. They are the very practice of remembering. Remembering gives Israel power for a faithful life in a context of accommodation. The Torah intends that when the children engage in this exchange, they will be offered a new world in which to live - not, however, a negotiable world. This new world is given and it is there to enter.
Our world tries to force us to negotiate, to move away - in one extent or one dorection or another - from our remembering and our obedience. But there is no negotiation in the kingdom. We have to seize the initiative and demonstrate and live in the alternative world, the new world that we have been given.