Obedience is a hard sell for us Americans. It’s in our national DNA to resist tyrannical authority. We define the American Spirit by our revered rebels: Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Tubman, Bob Dylan, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Our coming holiday of Thanksgiving is about a group of religious rebels, resisting the authority of the King of England to dictate their worship and community life.
Against that noble history of resistance, we confront our Bible’s calls to “obey.” Obedience to God is the highest religious virtue, but it’s challenging for our American souls. We are suspicious of authority that seems distant and unknown. We discredit rules that demand irrational sacrifice. We need help in understanding the Bible’s call to obey. We need help obeying obedience.
This Sunday’s scripture lessons will help. God speaks in these lessons about a simple path to obedience and the joy that comes from obeying. When we obey God, we experience every-day epiphanies, inner peace and outer progress. Obedience brings not shackles, but a shining, daily light.
And, this Sunday, we’ll worship in that golden light of Thanksgiving, with beloved hymns and traditions of Thanksgiving Week.