Monthly Archives: February 2014

Love Your Enemies

ImageEpiphany 7A – Love Your Enemies

Matthew 5:38-48

February 23, 2014

 

When someone wrongs us,

            it’s not often that our first instinct is prayer.

(Or maybe it is prayer, but certainly not the kind of prayer Jesus talks about –

            not prayer on behalf of the one who wronged us.)

 

Even our own Martin Luther

            was known to have some choice words for those who disagreed with him –

                        and they don’t sound to me like prayers!

“You are a toad-eater!”

“You are like one drunk or asleep speaking between your snores!”

“I beg you put your glasses on your nose, or blow your nose a bit, to make your head lighter and the brain clearer.”

“You are like mouse-droppings in the pepper.”

            …and these are the tame ones!

 

Do they sound like prayers to you?

No,most of us react in anger to those who attack us,

            not with prayer but with fighting back,

                        if not with fists, than with words.

 

In today’s gospel reading Jesus says

“Do not resist an evildoer.

             But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also…

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

 … Which is why when we hear of someone actually doing what Jesus said –

            responding not with hostility but with care and concern and even love for an enemy,

                        its unnaturalness makes  us pause.

  Continue reading

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imageEpiphany 6A – Choose Life
February 16, 2014
Matthew 5:21-37
Deuteronomy 30:15-20

This is one of the passages of the Bible which contains some things
​​that frankly I wish Jesus hadn’t said…

Someone asked me this week if I ever choose my own Bible readings
instead of using texts given to us in what’s called the lectionary –
​​​​-the 3 year cycle of readings that we as a church generally follow.

The answer is ‘yes’, sometimes I choose my own texts,
but one of the compelling reasons to use a lectionary I think,
is that without it,
​​​we’d tend to read only our favorite texts,
​​​​​the ones that are easy to understand,
​​​​​​​the ones that agree with the way we think Jesus should be.
So we probably wouldn’t – or at least I probably wouldn’t – choose to read today’s gospel reading.

Jesus sounds a lot more judgmental here than merciful
​​(and I prefer the merciful Jesus – don’t you?). Continue reading

Precious as Salt

salt

Epiphany 5A – Precious as Salt

Matthew 5:13-20

February 9, 2014

 

Jesus says you are the salt of the earth…

 

I learned more about salt this week,

than I ever thought possible!

 

In 1925, the Diamond Salt Crystal Company

out of St. Clair, Michigan published a brochure called,

“The 101 uses of salt.”

 

I won’t share them all with you…

but maybe there are some new ones for you here as well!

 

You can use salt (and of course Diamond salt particularly!) to:

brine pickles

freeze ice cream

get rid of burned odor from ovens

prevent milk from souring

preserve meat

crack nuts cleanly

clean the kitchen table

remove rust from an iron

put out a fire

drive out ants

thaw out frozen pipes

prevent moths

get rid of onion breath

for nerves or

to get rid of dandruff.

Continue reading

Simeon and the Child

image

Presentation of Our Lord A

February 2, 2014

Luke 2:22-40

 

Tradition says that Simeon was an old man,

​(which for that day and age meant that he was at least…40!)

​​Faithful, consistent, and prayerful old Simeon.

 

Simeon didn’t have many prayers;

​he had only one prayer in fact.

​​His one prayer was that Israel would be restored;

​​​that God’s deliverer the messiah would come.

 

Simeon’s name means “he has heard”

​and God heard his prayer.

God promised Simeon

​that he would not die until he saw the Christ.

Continue reading