Bible in a Wordle – Shall – Deuteronomy 11

Gotta admit…kind of like the Blues Brothers a few days ago, my brain went to a few movies with “SHALL.”  I thought of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail – “None Shall Pass” and then Gandalf from The Fellowship of the Ring – “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

So, my first reaction to SHALL is in the negative.  It is the commands, the rules, the sense of what is forbidden rather than what is allowed.  Maybe that’s just me.  

As I walked with Scout yesterday morning, I passed a chapel near us and noticed the juxtaposition of the sign with the church.  I know that it was not an intentional placement of the sign to speak about the chapel but there was something about it yesterday and my thinking about this word that spoke something to me.  How often do people perceive that what people of faith are about is all the things of what people shouldn’t do rather than what they should.  There’s a lot of these “shall nots” in Deuteronomy 11.  Yet in the midst of the “shall nots” of the Bible, there are lots of permission giving “shalls” – You shall love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and you shall love your neighbor as yourself” is just one example of many.  

What if we were more about permission giving and opening doors rather than closing them?  What if we were devoted more of our energies to helping people live in the ways of humility, doing justice, and loving mercy?  

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