Epiphany 9 - "Transfiguration" - Year A
For what purpose are the tablets of stone to be given to Moses? It is to build community. How might one tell a community has been built? Might it be by the personal sense of belovedness by each member of the community and a shared sense of compassion for one another. Between these two commandments - an experience of being loved and mutual encounters with compassion - will lie the whole of the law and the prophets. Without them stricter and stricter laws will come. Eventually the goal is to live out of assurance and compassion.
As might be expected, it takes awhile for a community to come clear about its internal workings and external relationships. For Moses it was a 40-day slow grinding of the gods to come down a mountain and go to work engaging issues of assurance and compassion.
Other tales have it that it took a second try because the task looked so large while viewing life through the lens of a golden calf. But, first try, second try, or fortieth try, we look beyond the need for a new vision of community and stricter laws to the over-riding issues of personal assurance and communal compassion. Look again, there is no law against these. Let’s nurture them.