A Season of Lent: On Obedience

Living right side up in an upside down world and culture requires our laying aside the slavery to absolute liberty for the restraining freedom of obedience…

“Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you” (Deuteronomy 4:1)

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Lord, God Almighty, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Defend us today by your mighty power, that we may not fall into any sin, but that all our words may so proceed and all our thoughts and actions be so directed, as to be always just in your sight. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Ora Pro Nobis.

Christian obedience is not blind. As Chesterton points out, Christian obedience is well-considered and aware of the cost.  It is an act of trust in someone we know to be trustworthy, our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our culture, this world, however, blindly puts its trust repeatedly in things that have proven their long term untrustworthiness, one of which is man, himself.    Our society is, as Ryan Meyers of Epic Pew points out: “so accepting of vice to the point of enshrining some vices as “human rights.” Virtue, modesty, obedience, self-mastery…these are now considered forms of oppression and when heresy is the norm, the only rebellion left is orthodoxy.”  Indeed, that is another Chesterton observation: that when all are rebelling in sin, the only real rebellion left is to be obedient.

“Obedience. The most thrilling word in the world; a very thunderclap of a word. Why do all these fools fancy that the soul is only free when it disagrees with the common command? Why should mere disagreement make us feel free? I know you are fond of dancing; do you want to dance to a different tune from your partner’s? You are a fine horsewoman; do you want to think of walking northward all by yourself, when you and your horse are going southward together? You have called me a nun; I am not a nun, I am not good enough to be a nun. I do not . . . I have not set . . . (She breaks off the sentence.) But do you suppose that nuns are unhappy? I never see them pass, silent and hooded, through their quiet cloisters but I have a vision: a vast vision of Amazons, wilder than any heathen Valkyries, riders rushing into battle; a charge of chivalry going all one way, and every rider as free as Joan of Arc; galloping, galloping to God. That is the real vision of Obedience.” – G.K. Chesterton, The Surprise, 1936

“The man of the true religious tradition understands two things: liberty and obedience. The first means knowing what you really want. The second means knowing what you really trust.” – G. K. Chesterton, G.K.’s Weekly, Aug. 18, 1928

One thought on “A Season of Lent: On Obedience

  1. Reblogged this on Reforming the Line and commented:

    I’m reblogging this post for those who for some reason did not receive it this morning in their inbox. We’re not sure why it didn’t send but I’m looking into it. We apologize for the delay and hope this reaches you and encourages you this Lenten season.

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