There are times at the moment where it feels my life is governed by sets of keys. Having not long moved to Aberdeen I still have keys for my flat in Glasgow and keys for my new place. I even found a stash of old keys that I’ve long since forgotten what they open. Then throw in working for four different church congregations…even more keys to contend with!

To be honest, I don’t even know what half the keys I have open! I’m sure though they are all really important and really useful! 

Q: If I gave you a key that could open any door in the world where would you visit or what would you hope was behind the door?

So I’ve got all these keys. Some of them are really useful. Some of them I use all the time. Others opened doors and locks and things that aren’t even there anymore. They were really useful in their day, but now I’m not so sure. And some of them, I’ve forgotten what they were even supposed to do in the first place!

Rules are kind of like that. When there’s a problem or something’s not working sometimes we fix it by making a new rule. And it helps. But time passes and we forget what the problem was that the rule was supposed to fix. Maybe the world has changed and so the old rules begin to do more harm than good. 

In today’s Bible Story, there are some people that get angry with Jesus. They’re the peoplewho make sure everyone is following the rules but Jesus and his disciples aren’t doing whatthey’re being told. 

The Pharisees and their religious scholars couldn’t understand why Jesus was spending so much time with people that they saw as ‘crooks and sinners’. They even said to Jesus, other teacher’s disciples’ spend a lot of their time keeping rules and fasting, but your disciples always seem to be partying!

Jesus knew that the old rules that were made up to help people weren’t working, and were actually hurting people. He tells the religious leaders that it’s time to remember why the rules were there in the first place.

In my experience, young people are really good at asking difficult questions. You’re really good at asking, “Why?” Sometimes as we get older and when we’ve been following the rules for so long, we can forget why they’re there. And so sometimes, we end up carrying around alot of old rules and ways of doing things that aren’t helpful anymore. It’s like lugging around a pocket full of old keys that don’t open anything anymore. 

Q: Can you think of any rules that we follow that might be out of date?

Apparently in the UK:

· It’s illegal for Members of Parliament to wear armor or carry swords in parliament.

· It is an offence to beat or shake any carpet, rug, or mat (except door mats before 8am) in athoroughfare in the Metropolitan Police District in London.

· No person shall, in the course of a business, import into England, potatoes which he knows,or has reasonable cause to suspect, are from Poland

· It is illegal to carry a plank along a pavement (as well as any ladder, wheel, pole, cask, placard, show board, or hoop) again in the Metropolitan Police District. 

So, here’s what I need you to do. (Your parents are going to love me for this.) Whenever you come across a new rule, I want you to ask “Why?” Maybe the rule is there to keep you safe. Or maybe it’s there to help everybody get along. But asking “why” reminds us to think about the purpose of the rules, and to make them better when we need to. 

But do me a favor: If your parents answer you with “Because I said so!”, it’s probably bestjust let it rest for a while. That means they need some time to think about it.

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