Monday, March 14, 2016

WMTRBW 31: The Choice is Yours

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock."
Matthew 7:24-25

We have come to the end of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and now we hear it's all about action. Will we actually DO the things Jesus has spoken of and showed us with his life? 

Yesterday in worship we actually built a foundation that helped us look at what Jesus has said to us in this amazing block of teaching:

At the end of worship, this was the challenge: "Choose one—just one—of these foundational words to not just hear this week, but do. Choose not the one that feels easiest to you, but one that you think may be hard. Ask how you can make doing this thing part of the bedrock on which you stand every day, how you can not just hear these words but live them."

Lots of people took home a rock with some of Jesus' words on it to try to live out this week. Look at the big picture and consider: where does your house need to be founded more firmly on the ways of Jesus?

I took home "Keep heart free from cynicism" (my translation of the beatitude "Blessed are the pure in heart"). As I watch election coverage in particular these days, I find it hard to imagine anything good coming out of all our political divisiveness and ridiculousness. I realize that my jadedness can keep me from doing what I can to be a positive voice for the things that matter in Christ's kingdom because I feel like nothing is ever going to change. This week, I'm trying to leave those shifting sands of cynicism behind. But golly it's hard.

Which words did you choose, or would you like to choose? How are things going as you try to live them?

Monday, March 7, 2016

WMTRBW 30: Why We Worry, Why We Judge

In our sermon on Matthew 6:22-7:12 yesterday, I made only a passing reference to one of the most famous parts of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the last verse of our reading better known as the Golden Rule. So, I thought our blog could focus on that!

I want to encourage you to watch this short (less than 10 minutes) TED Talk by Karen Armstrong, which calls not just Christians but followers of all world religions to center their lives on this teaching--one espoused not just by Jesus, but by many faith leaders throughout history. How might our world be transformed if we actually did to others what we would like them to do to us?

Note: if you receive the blog by email, you probably will need to go to the blog website to watch the video, or just click this link:

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