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I'm so grateful to every woman at the CONNECTION STATION,  who has posted to the blogs & forum over the past several days!!! Please do  continue to post as I so enjoy the activity and reading the richness of our women who've gathered with us here.

Yesterday it occurred to me to say something that has become near and dear to my heart. And that is the “Spirit of the law” vs the “Letter of the law“. We may think that went out when the Book was published. Unfortunately, it did not and our emphasis on ‘religion’ rather than ‘relationship’ has kept it alive & kickin‘. If it weren’t so harmful, I’d laugh out loud when someone identifies himself or herself as a “Christian” and the immediate response is to talk about “religion“. Now, IMHO, religion tends to be more about the “letter” and relationship tends to be more about the “Spirit“.

Some of you may know that my primary motivational gift of the Spirit is the prophetic. It means that I will always seek both the truth and the facts. Many times, the truth is much more than the sum of the facts. Prophetics probably have the hardest time going from the ‘letter’ to the ‘Spirit’ of the law. We tend to be black & white folks with no room for any gray! And trust me, I can go there quite easily if pushed against the wall. So for me to talk about the ‘letter’ vs the ‘Spirit’ shows DAD’s been at work in me.

First I want to say that there are certain basic fundamental truths to which I adhere. You’ll not get me to deviate from them. . . but I really don’t want to debate them. Debating the fundamental truths get us nowhere & cause breaches in relationships that often cannot be repaired.

The old Mosaic law was all about the ‘letter‘. Little or no breathing room. It was or it wasn’t. And the unruly Israelites needed that structure and form in order to be kept in line. . . as best as possible. And when I say “kept in line“, I mean on the correct path that was in their best interests. They, like us, thought they knew what was best for them. In reality, they didn’t & as such kept running into all sorts of difficult and downright nasty situations.

But the new law that Jesus brought into being (or the ‘fulfillment of the old’ as it’s put) was more about the ‘Spirit’ of the law. The best way it has ever been described to me is by my wonderful spiritual mentor friend, Paul. He put it this way - it’s about being tough on the situation and tender with the person. I can think of loads of experiences in my life that PAPA used to teach me this fact.

The “letter of the law” kills. . . . it’s gives no room for human fraility. The men (and women) in the crowd who brought the woman caught in adultery demanded the “letter of the law” be carried out. Jesus, on the other hand, applied the “Spirit of the law“. Without condoning, he did not judge. He did instruct her in how to live her life from that point on.

The “Spirit” brings life. It loves first, without condoning. The Pharisees applied the ‘letter’ and were rigid, arrogant, self-righteous and self-serving. Jesus abhorred their religious ways and said so on more than one occasion. The one thing that kept coming to my mind yesterday as I wrote this for posting today. . . is the story of the woman who came to anoint Him while he dined in the home of some religious leaders. They chasened Him and her. The comment He made that really touches my heart is when He said “she has loved much“. We don’t know for certain to what specifically He was referring. Did He mean her love for him that would cause her to pour expensive perform upon him. . . or was he referring to another form of love?

My fondest & sincerest hope is that as we move along in community with each other, that we will grow into (if we haven’t already) a willingness and ability to apply the ‘Spirit’ rather than cling to the ‘letter‘. We need to bring life & love to each other. Even when we come with diametrically opposite viewpoints. . . I encourage us to bring first the “Spirit of Love“. A love that uplifts, builds up - encourages and enriches. It is only that love that empowers.

And that kind of love comes only from the Spirit of the law. . . .“and the greatest of these is love!”

And may you have it abundantly from this day forward!

Linda, a fellow journeyer


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