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                            Judges 11:29-36



Here is a belonging place

where there is a place for us all


a place where welcome

becomes who we are


a place of grace

where no one judges another

because we all know what we are like ourselves 


a place of love

because there is no other place to become


a place of celebration

for all who find themselves here for so many reasons


and a place of worship

of the one who holds us

and names us

Contemporary Reading


In Jewish tradition there are 613 rules, or commandments. Vows we are to keep in order to be close to God. They balance a community, shape our relationships along lines that try and prioritise that which is good and punish that which hurst others. Jesus, being a Jew, knew these commandments, but sometimes responded to them differently. Here’s some examples


Number 36: To rebuke the sinner


And Jesus said to Zacchaeus, climb down from that tree because I am coming to your house for tea. “The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, He is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’”


Number 110 and 111: not to work on the Sabbath, to rest on the Sabbath


One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels... 


Number 571: That purification from all kinds of defilement shall be effected by immersion in the waters. 


Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!" Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?


Number 74 A woman suspected of adultery shall be dealt with as prescribed in the Torah which says should be killed


“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women,’” (John. 8:3-5). Jesus replies, “let the one who is is sinless cast the first stone.”


This is not to say such rules are wrong but what Jesus questions is the inflexible way they are applied

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