October 22 | Matthew 5:17-22
Dotting my I's and Crossing my T's
by Mary Alice McGinnis
Recently I was preparing for some time off from work to go on vacation. As much as I was looking forward to our vacation time in the Smokey Mountains, I was stressing about making sure all my I’s were dotted and my T’s crossed at work and at home. I laid awake at night thinking about all my responsibilities, the things I needed to have covered while I was off.
Then there was picking up some last minute items at the store, stopping the mail delivery, getting the laundry done, washing the last dishes, and of course the packing.
My list seemed endless. I kept asking myself, “What if I forget something? What if something does not get done? What will go wrong while I am away?”
I believe there is also this same haunting feeling in the depths of our souls.
“What if I don’t make the right decision?
What if I don’t measure up?
What if I fail?
If I don’t do what I am supposed to do? What terrible things will happen as a result?”
God has designed our hearts to be in perfect communion with Him. His plan from the beginning was to bring us into a perfect Covenant relationship with Him. He spelled out for us through all of Scripture exactly what living in that Covenant relationship would look like.
Yet, as much as we try to ignore it or deny it, we KNOW we have failed. If we are honest with ourselves, it is blatantly obvious that we have NOT loved God with our whole heart, nor our neighbors as ourselves.
The beginning words of Jesus in today’s reading don’t seem to give us much hope.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets . . .”
In fact, Jesus says that God’s Word, every word, even down to the slightest stroke of the pen MATTER! In the original language of the Old Testament, Hebrew, there were small letters, a jot, and a tittle, that could completely change the meaning of a word. Even each letter matters!
Listen again to what Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter (a jot), not the least stroke of a pen (a tittle), will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
This is the beautiful part of God’s Covenant! Jesus FULLFILLS IT ALL!!