Pause for Thought: 11 March
Seen in transition
‘Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates’ (Deut 6:9).
Did the Israelites remember the blood-stained doorways of Passover deliverance in their past during their trek through the wilderness? They would soon receive another divine instruction involving future doors.
During their quest for the Promised Land, Moses gave the people the Lord’s commandments and instructions. He told them to keep God’s ordinances in their hearts, impress them on their children, talk about them along the way, day and night, wear them and write them on the doorframes of their houses and gates. Imprinting the Lord’s commandments would serve as daily reinforcements of the truth. They were not forbidden ‘images’.
Did the Israelites who were living in tents note the reference to doorframes? Did they think it odd or take it as a signal of hope that they would again one day have permanent dwellings with actual doorways and gates? One of my doctors attached small cases containing scrolls of biblical passages (mezuzah) to his examining room doorways. He did so in continued observance of the words of Deuteronomy in ancient Israel’s instruction.
What do we and others see when passing through our doorways? Through the years, visual scriptural reminders have taken many forms. From stitched samplers to ‘verseries’ (digital art paired with Scripture), plaques to posters, garden flags to bumper stickers, mouse pads to screen savers – all ways to visually remember key words of our faith abound. Some people are drawn to particular Christian television ministries or daily online devotionals that arrive in our inboxes.
The challenge for any visual reminder is to actually continue to see it and to remember its message. Perhaps that’s why the instructions to the Israelites involved many commonplace ways of underpinning their faith on a daily basis.
Spending time regularly with God’s Word is essential. Can we also make time to evaluate what reminds us of our faith and determine where can be more intentional for our sakes and others? Do our places of daily transition show a blend of our outward and inward lives and remind us and others of our faith and of God?