8th SUN ORD – [An Aside]

We’ve had such challenging gospels on Sundays since the Sermon on the Mount began.  Same for the weekdays of the 8th Week – tough to deal with.  I hope this aside clarifies where I’m going with the Sunday gospel from the 8th Week.  And it’s a pretty darn good set-up for Lent.  YIKES! Monday, February […]

8th SUN ORD – “Let’s talk serving…”

  Yep, let’s talk “serving…”  The Greek word below translates the Hebrew, abodah, “to serve… to worship.” We’ll see how it shows up in Exodus as the difference between serving / worshiping Pharaoh or God.  Or in Deuteronomy as serving idols in the Promised Land.  Or in the prophets…  You get the picture. To serve; worship; bond […]

7th SUN ORD – “The other side…”

  If I love my enemy, I will feel vulnerable, exposed, unprotected, and defenseless.  If I step out of my fortress – and the fortress of my ideologically compatible group – I will be vulnerable, exposed, unprotected, and defenseless. It’s a helluva conundrum, wanting to be conformed to Christ. Scares the stuffing out of me.  You?

7th SUN ORD – “Love your enemies???”

  What do I get out of hating my enemies?  Of obsessing about them and getting exercised about them?  I believe I get –  A focus for obstreperous energies & feelings Relief from personal fears and corporate anxiety Distraction from my smallness and impotency to change big things Blame some one(s) else for what’s actually bothering […]

7th SUN ORD 2017 – “You’re kidding me, right…?”

  OK, buckle up for safety… or what passes for safety in your world. Here’s where the Sermon on the Mount serves as a great Rorschach (Ink Blot) test. Please note your reactions, as I will do. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your […]

6th SUN ORD – “If you are angry with…”

  It’s important to be taught by anger in our day and time.  There’s so much of it.  Let me begin, then, with this proposition – every act of anger serves to protect one from basic vulnerability, to deny one’s status as creature of God by taking the place of God. Yes, I’m claiming that even righteous anger involves avoidance. Let’s […]

5th SUN ORD-“Light of the world? Whaaa…???”

 Here’s my best guess about what Jesus probably would have taught the disciples in the house.  That is, the Light shone on the hidden and night-time parts of their lives (our lives) that disciples, like us, might come into the light as we are. Reading 1 Isaiah 58:7-10 Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter […]

5th SUN ORD – “Light in the House”

  So far we’ve seen that foolish salt needs to be thrown out (ballo).  And right eyes, right hands, stumbling feet (all that leads to sin), and unfruitful trees also need to be thrown out. Jesus’ continuing instruction (between chapters 5 & 7 and throughout) will teach us about both what unhealthy eyes look like and what healthy eyes look like.  [Literalists, beware!] […]

5th SUN ORD – “One-Eyed Christians???”

The brief selection from Sunday’s gospel creates a web of relationships within the gospel of Matthew itself and ties together significant bits from the Greek Old Testament.  The verb, ballo, “to throw out,” connects to Jesus other teaching about discerning action: Jesus teaches us to take which causes us to sin/be unfruitful/stumble/become foolish and throw it out.  So, […]

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