Deuteronomy 10-12 Psalm 56

I could write for a while on the injunction to care for the sojourner. All too often in the modern world, those who associate themselves with the church and proudly claim the title christian are among the loudest opponents to immigration reform and the acceptance of refugees. I find it truly disturbing how absolutely they seem to have missed one of the loudest themes of the Bible.

Instead, however, I want to focus on the admonition to “circumcise the foreskin of you heart.”

Circumcision is a pretty extreme and even graphic if still mostly private mark of dedication. I can’t say I’ve ever really wrapped my head around this chosen method, except that it is extreme and graphic and private. It’s got a little bit of everything going on. It’s more than a brand or a tattoo because it’s a removal, cutting away part of the body, a true sacrifice rather than a bit of temporary pain. It is something that would be personally encountered every day but only shared with parents and wives.

But the focus here isn’t even on the physical act. Moses is saying they should be circumcised of the heart. How many people listening struggled to understand what he meant? He does follow it immediately with “and be no longer stubborn.” I think that helps a lot. I think Paul’s connection of “heart circumcision” with baptism also helps.

Allow God to cut away your willfulness. Submit to him and let him remove the walls we put up to protect our independence. How many of us shield ourselves from submission? Putting up walls to protect yourself from getting hurt in relationships is a pretty common concept, and we understand that they manifest in a variety of different ways depending on who you are and what you’re actually afraid of. We also put up walls between ourselves and God, we shield our heart against true surrender because it is terrifying. Let God strip away your inhibitions. Let him cut away your stubborn reservations.

At least that’s how it makes sense to me.

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