Sunday, February 24, 2013

Second Sunday of Lent, February 24, 2013

Today's Reading: Luke 6:20-49

Somewhat overshadowed by Matthew's Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount is today's similar material in Luke commonly called the Sermon on the Plain.

It can be stated "Go the extra mile" when encountering other people.  We are not to be kind or compassionate only to the friendly.  We are not to love only those whom we don't find annoying.  We are not to be happy only for those whom we don't consider to be our enemies.

In this we find the core teaching of Jesus and he expects actions and results.  That bit about the trees and the kind of fruit they produce is referring to us.  He follows it up with houses standing firm (those with action) and houses being smashed in the flood (those ignoring this teaching).

I realize that many Christians write off this teaching as seemingly impossible or reserved only for God's special saints.  I think that we are selling ourselves short.

If we assume mediocrity is our standard for anything, we are likely to achieve just that. This is about excellence in love and spirituality.  They go hand in hand because the kind of love that Jesus sets out for us is likely impossible without the help of God.

Constantly going head to head with people
often gives us headaches and we look kind of silly.

And so as we move into Lent, what if you picked someone you consider an enemy or maybe someone you are holding a grudge against.

Do you have someone in mind?

What if you prayed for blessings for this person each day of Lent?

Jesus seems to be asking for excellence here.

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