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The Devil’s in the Details Denali

The Devil’s in the Details Denali

They say the devil’s in the details. A few weeks ago, I took my vehicle to the GMC dealer for routine maintenance, and after doing the initial paperwork, I sat down at a table to wait and began working the day’s New York Times crossword. But I found it difficult to concentrate, because about 6 feet away from me was a brand new 2020 Sierra Denali pick-up that had me under its spell. A $70K thing of beauty with a come-hither look (I think it may even have winked at me) that, at that moment, I wanted. I was smitten. I even texted a picture to my wife (who quickly responded, “You’re not getting a truck.”). But the devil sitting across the table just smiled and whisper-hissed, “Now. What do I have to do to get you into thisssss new truck?” O, how I coveted. A favorite C. S. Lewis quote comes to mind, “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink, sex, and ambition, when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” My temptation is an opportunity to look at God’s Law, how sin pollutes even the kindest of hearts, as well as God’s solution to our 10-fold problem: We just can’t obey God’s Law, instructions meant for everyone on Earth long before there were Christians. In the second book of the Bible, Moses brings the Ten Commandments down from Mt. Sinai (Exodus 32:5-16). The first three tell us how we should live in relation to God; the remaining 7 tell us how we should live in relation to our fellow human beings. We Lutherans look at it in the form of the Cross: our vertical relationship with God, then our horizontal relationship with others, distilled down to what’s known as Christ’s Law: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) From the beginning we’re to have only one God, we’re not to disgrace His name, and we’re to go to church; next ...

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