Faith Daily | 14 June 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p552
we beseech you to keep your family, the Church,
in continual godliness,
that through your protection
it may be free from all adversities,
and devoutly given to serve you in good works,
to the glory of your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 5: 38-42
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Rev'd Jan
When you refer to the original texts of Exodus (21:23-24) and Leviticus (24:19-20) this principle of retaliation seems primitive and, yes, brutal. The irony is that it was created to limit retaliation so it didn’t get out of hand. Jesus, in new teaching as he delivers the Sermon on the Mount, is basically saying… don’t get involved at all, walk away so that you don’t enter judgement and retaliation. This at times does not seem humanly possible; and it is certainly not the way the world works.
Jesus then compounds the teaching by advocating ‘'turning the other cheek’ and ‘walking the extra mile’. Again we know this is so counter ‘what we would really like to do and everyone else does’ – but we also need to know that this is not about turning ourselves into victims or martyrs. Again Jesus is saying – don’t enter the field of wrong-doing because all that happens is that you end up playing the same game. And it is not the Jesus game.
We have all been part of conversations, I would think, when people accuse Jesus of being a ‘wimp’, a softie, a gentle do-gooder. How further from the truth can you get. This man, who is God, whom we follow, invites us to enter a way of living in this world that reveals the kingdom of God through our very actions. It is a way of self-denial; it is a way of avoiding grand-standing and ego building; it is a way of dealing with conflict in a different way.
If Jesus was delivering the Sermon on the Mount today he might say…. “don’t answer emails when you are in an emotive state!”. And he might say…. Go and see the person, face to face.
FINAL PRAYER: David Adam “Clouds and Glory”
Father, make us holy as you are holy,
that we may belong to you.
Turn our eyes from watching what is worthless,
to behold your glory.
Let your church show that the Spirit of God is within us,
that we belong to Christ and to you.
We pray that your church will grow in holiness,
in outreach and in number.
God, give us grace to build on sure foundations,
the word and life of your Son, the Christ.