Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Looking Forward to February 20, 2011 -- 7th Sunday After Epiphany

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Psalm 119:33-40 (VU p.839 Part 3)
  • Matthew 5:38-48

The sermon title is Go Deeper, Go Further

Early Thoughts: OK, that makes little to no sense.  Are we supposed to be some sort of passive doormat?

In a word---NO.  Not a doormat.  Instead of saying "do not resist an evildoer" a better translation is suggested by many as "do not violently resist an evildoer".  The actions Jesus describes are in fact actions designed to shame the other, and so are acts of resistance.  In an honour-based culture such as 1st Century Palestine to shame an oppressor is is to resist them, it makes them lose face and status.

Jesus is calling people to live out the love of friend and enemy.  Acting for justice is a key part of that.  Jesus calls us to look past retribution, to put aside ideas of "an eye for an eye" and seek another answer.  As it has been said--following eye for eye and tooth for tooth leaves the world blind and toothless.  And that is not what God's hope for a just and loving world is all about.

So how do we live out the love of friend and enemy?  How do we non-violently resist injustice?  How do we respond when we are resisted?  These are the questions I will ponder between now and Sunday.  I invite you to do the same.

1 comment:

  1. Gord, see my own comments at http://graymondayblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/january-30-2011.html.

    There might be a disconnect between an attempt to shame and an attempt to love as God loves. Much depends, I suppose, on the end in view.