As we begin a new year of worshiping together at Calvary East, we have installed a new art display on the front wall of our sanctuary. It represents the blessing of obedience. This is the focus of my new series on the Ten Commandments titled, “The Boundaries We Need.” We will also continue this theme by studying the Epistles of John this summer.
The main structure of the display is a decagon painted to look like stone. This 10-sided shape reminds us of the tablets upon which God inscribed the Ten Commandments. Moses described them in Deuteronomy 4:13 by saying, “And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.”
The commandments were not given as arbitrary limitations or generic moral principles. They set the boundaries of God’s covenant relationship with Israel. Exodus 19:5-6 tells us that the Lord promised, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
Inside the stone boundaries we see yellow and orange ribbons signifying the light of living in God’s presence. But beyond the boundaries there are dark colors, blue and purple. Without a relationship with God, life is characterized by spiritual darkness. Paul described it in Titus 3:3 by saying, “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”
We are all born into that darkness, and the boundaries show our unworthiness to enter God’s presence. But God sent his Son as the light of the world to shine in the darkness. John 8:12 tells us that Jesus proclaimed, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
For those who believe in Christ, the blood of his sacrificial death on the cross atones for our sins, and the righteousness of his perfect obedience is credited to our account. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
He makes it possible for us to cross through the boundary and to enjoy the blessing of a covenant relationship with God. We will examine this New Testament teaching about the Christian’s relationship to the Old Testament Law in the second week of our study.
I have used the decagon idea on several occasions in the past when I have taught on the Ten Commandments, but Audie King helped me develop this current design. Matt Owen constructed and painted the decagon. Then Tommy King helped along with Audie and Matt in the final assembly and installation.
May God help us to grasp the blessings of obedience!
– Bryan Craddock