Collect for the Week
Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we to pray,
and give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid,
and giving us those good things
which we are not worthy to ask,
save through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ,
your Son our Lord. Amen APBA p.554
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 7: 21-29
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’
24“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25The 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. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”
28Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Hilary Bell
Today we return to Matthew Ch. 7 to complete the Sermon on the Mount. We read that the crowds were “astounded at his teaching for he taught them as one having authority, not as their scribes”.
So, I put myself in the crowd.
Jesus has been teaching about living as children of God, as kingdom people in the here and now. His sermon has included two of the most widely known Bible passages, ‘the Lord’s Prayer ‘ Ch 6: v 9 -13 and ‘the Golden Rule’ Ch 7 v.12. He has instructed us how to pray, how to be in relationship with God our Father, and how to live with others. Throughout the sermon Jesus warns against hypocrisy, following only the letter of the law; actions not from the heart but to be seen by others.
Now in conclusion, the summary, a final powerful image and a “take home message”:
Firstly, a final warning against self- deception. Words and even powerful deeds which seemingly proclaim faith can be evil if their real motivation is self-serving.
Secondly, I am to make his words my foundation for daily life.
I am left with that powerful image of the house built on the rock, able to withstand floods and gales.
- Spend time in prayer to discern God’s will so that my words and actions are motivated not by self-will but by God’s purpose.
- Spend time in reading scripture, the story of God’s people, and the teaching and examples from the life of Jesus.
- Spend time in worship and mutual encouragement with others who like me are trying to hold fast to Jesus, my rock and my Redeemer.
thank you for teaching us
through the gospel of your Son,
that our relationship with you
as the rock and foundation of our lives
is of supreme importance.
Through your grace you give us the confession
of a true faith.
Keep us steadfast in this faith that we may
evermore live in you and you in us, through Jesus Christ our Lord.