In the readings for most Sundays, the Old Testament gives us the background for the Gospel. But sometimes the background could use a little background too. This is one of those times.
In Sunday’s Old Testament reading (Deuteronomy), Moses reminds God’s people how God spoke to them. There was thunder and lightning, smoke and fire on Mount Sinai – and then the voice of God. And even from a distance it was terrifying.
In the movie A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson’s character rants about conditions facing U.S. Marines during the Cold War. Their situation is tough, and he mocks those questioning him for not being tough enough to handle it, ending with a line that’s been made into (at least) 1.38 million memes.
God’s people are terrified by God speaking directly to them. But instead of mocking them for not being tough enough to handle it, God’s response to their fear is anything but a demeaning rant. More on this tomorrow.
Readings for Sunday: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/020115.cfm