Monday, August 30, 2010
Mezuzah your world
This portion of the Jewish scriptures is called the shema when you walk into any Jewish home you will find in response to this passage the shema in what is called a Mezuzah nailed to the door post. So that as people come in and out of the house they will be reminded, “hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”. In his book ‘SoulSala (17 surprising steps to Godly living in the twenty first century)’ Leonard Sweet explores the Jewish tradition of Mezuzah and invites us to mezuzah our universe.
Over the past few years I have looked at different ways to do that. Things in everyday that help me to remember God, who is and what he has done for us and to live out that love in all I think and do. Let me share some of these with you and if you have some of your Own I’d love to hear them just write a comment.
In my twenty first century world I’m more likely to go in and out of windows as much as doors. No I’m not a cat burglar (I’ve never really got why people would want to steal cats) rather like many people I spend as much time in cyberspace as I do in time and space. So I have found ways to mezuzah my computer and my usages of it. Sweet talks of having classic painting as wallpaper that focus him on various things and for a while I would put pictures and verses on my computer wall paper so that when I opened up my computer for the day or returned to my desktop I would again be focused on God’s word and his presence. I get sojourners Voice and verse email sent to me each day and when I open up my email fist thing every day I stop and read a bible passage and a relevant quote and pray the prayer in that email as well.
I use facebook quite a bit to keep in touch with people and a communications devise for studentsoul Auckland, the church I am involved in planting. The Bible has its own facebook page thanks to the recently resigned head of the Bible Society of New Zealand Mark Brown. So the two or three times I go on facebook each day in my ‘news feed’ is a bible verse which reminds me that in the midst of all my relating with people that the core relationship is with God. It’s amazing how often the verses connect with where I am at and God speaks into my situation through this. I have to admit that the Bible isn’t as regular at posting scripture as it once was.
I love the sea and find myself quite depressed if I don’t see it at least once a week. Fortunately Auckland is a city built on two harbours and I live in New Zealand where you are never more than 120 km (70 Miles) from the sea. When i see the sea I am reminded and pray “Thank you God that your love surrounds me like the ocean surrounds our Island home.”
Does it make a difference or is it just a tired new ritual? Yes it makes a difference I am more aware of what is around me, I find myself able to slow down and focus again and remember the LORD our God. I’d love to tell you that I have become more saintly... maybe I have but I still fly off the handle when that motorist cuts in front of me (it’s amazing the number of high end German cars on New Zealand roads that are so badly maintained, their indicators don’t seem to be working, perhaps it’s a design fault). I still get stressed out when I can’t find my remote mouse or my shoes or my glasses. But gradually I’m finding myself more and more aware of God in those spaces and places (sure wish it was the remote mouse I lost as well). The spiritual discipline of Mezuzah-ing helps and transformation is a slow process.