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Faith Daily | 9 June 2021


PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p550


O Lord, from whom alone all good things come:

grant that by your holy inspiration

we may think those things that are good,

and by your merciful guiding

may perform them;

through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.



GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 5: 17 - 19


17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter,* not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever breaks* one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Carol Streatfield


This passage, Jesus stipulates that regardless of his presence, the commandments and the teaching of the prophets are just as important as ever they were. In fact, he came to fulfil them. However, there are two statements in these verses that seem particularly interesting to me: v18 “until heaven and earth pass away”; and, v 19 “one who breaks one of the least of these commandments … will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.”


It seems to me that we don’t generally think of heaven passing away; earth, yes, heaven, no. We can imagine earth passing away, especially as things are heading at the moment, but surely heaven is supposed to be eternal, that is, permanent! So, perhaps our view of ‘heaven’ is not Jesus’ view of heaven. Perhaps we need to look past a very human, earthly view of heaven to something more expansive and God-infused which includes the present within the eternal. A perspective change.


It also struck me that Jesus didn’t say in these verses that the one who breaks commandments and leads people astray won’t make it into the kingdom at all. He said they’d be ‘least in the kingdom”. Is that because breaking a commandment is an indicator that the person hasn’t yet developed the perspective and capacity necessary to enjoy the kingdom? You can’t see what you’re blind to, and you can’t imagine what your understanding doesn’t encompass. The offenders are least because they don’t, yet, get it. Not that they don’t deserve it, but they don’t yet understand.



FINAL PRAYER: Iona Community


I lie down this night with God

And God will lie down with me.

I lie down this night with Christ

And Christ will lie down with me.

I lie down this night with the Spirit

And the Spirit will lie down with me.

The Three of my love

will be lying down with me.

I shall not lie down with sin

Nor shall sin or sin’s shadow

lie down with me.

I lie down this night with god

And God will lie down with me.

Amen

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