Happy Epiphany, Blessings and peace be with you all!
This Sunday our theme is, "Discipleship in Community" and is the third of four Gospel lessons from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and is from Matthew 5:21-37.
Last Sunday's Gospel ended with this verse; "For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." In the next verses, Jesus goes on to explain what he means by this as he talks about murder, anger, conflict between people, adultery, lust, divorce and making oaths. But just like the Scribes and Pharisees, the disciples live righteous lives and have not broken any of these commandments.
So how do you exceed the scribes and Pharisees in righteousness concerning these things? Jesus says do not do them but also don't even think them. Because if you think/feel them that is the same as breaking these commandments. Very difficult stuff. He is asking his disciples not only to live Holy lives but internally to really be who they appear to be, not just followers of the law (because they have to), but real and whole people of God. Be The Real Deal!
Try this. Let the light of God' Grace shine in everything you do. Let the light of God's real Forgiveness shine in everything you do. Let the light of God's Love shine in everything you do. Live out the light of God as best you are able, as best you can and transform yourself and the world, make God real. Happy New Year! This is the second month of a new year with new possibilities and God active in it all
Interim Pastor Craig