And as long as they don’t get caught, then, as the Gospel says, “they have received their reward.” If it is the accolades and praise of people they want, then as long as they are able to keep up the front, they will have received what they were looking for. If what they are trying to do is to “look good,” and if they have managed it, then by all means, let them rejoice in “looking good.”
And so, Paul is admonishing believers in Corinth for living with the same mindset: “This life is all we have, so let’s live a little! We aren’t going to be resurrected, so let’s make this life all that it should be!” And, because of this mindset, they were spending time with those of “bad company,” which was clearly corrupting their morals. The rend result was that the witness of their faith in Christ was indistinguishable from those with whom they were spending time.
Instead of responding to their question, Jesus begins to write in the dirt, and finally says, “Let anyone of you here who is without sin, throw the first stone at her.” And then he keeps writing.
Slowly, one by one, from the oldest first to the younger, all begin to walk away.
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are notRead More…
There can never be a beloved community – a community that includes all God’s children regardless of any self-imposed differences to keep ourselves apart – there can be no peace, no living together in harmony, unless there is forgiveness and understanding.
hat’s more, Paul goes on to say, in the freedom that Christ’s death and resurrection had brought to them, upholding the rules and regulations really meant nothing. In Christ, the only thing that mattered was “faith working through love.” Paul then goes on in the next several verses to explain that the only real thing that matters is fulfilling the law by Loving your neighbor as yourself.
“Thoughts and prayers.” If ever there was a heaping up of empty phrases, these three words after every major mass shooting in this country would win the prize for most overused phrase with the most under-whelming effect. “Thoughts and prayers” mean nothing when they do not move people to affect real and lasting change.
When I was a pastor for a small church up in the pacific northwest, I received a phone call one day. The call came from another pastor in our diocese, who wanted to let me know that he had a “word of knowledge” for me.
For those of you not particularly versed in the charismatic / pentecostal nomenclature, a “word of knowledge” is a personal prophecy, or discernment, regarding what God is doing in the life of another person. These can at times be very powerful, when truly directed by God. When not directed by God, they tend to take on the likeness of a battering ram.
Lectionary Readings – 7th Sunday after Pentecost Since I grew up in northern Alaska, I have never spent much time farming, nor have I seen much in the way of wheat whenRead More…
Daily Office Readings – Gospel ( Luke 13:10-17 ) These past few weeks have seen a lot of protests concerning the persistent racism in this country. Those protesting have pointed out thatRead More…