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Showing posts from February 16, 2020

Shiny Jesus

Here are some thoughts on this Sunday's gospel. What do you think? How does it strike you? Let's talk.
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9 1Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
9As they were com…

But I Say

This is the sermon I preached last Sunday, 2/16 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The gospel text was Matthew 5:21-37.
The Ten Commandments don’t sound that hard, do they? Is Jesus doing away with the law? After all, that’s the Old Testament. It doesn’t really apply to us today…or does it? Jesus’ interpretation makes it sound like he’s making it a lot harder. Jesus doesn’t let any of us off the hook but levels the playing field. We all fall short and we’re all guilty.
Jesus is not giving us a new, harder list of rules. Rather, he is talking about the intention of the commandments. Jesus is saying, “Yes, I am challenging interpretations of the law that are not consistent with its heart: whole-hearted love of God and neighbor."
In today’s gospel, Jesus uses various examples to demonstrate that simply committing the act is not the root of the problem. The root is the intention behind the action. Another way to put this is that it’s not the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. J…