2021_01_18 Insight Post- Kim Feld
This week's reading- Matthew 4 & 5
This week’s reading takes us through Matthew chapters 5 and 6 and once again, they are packed. Chapter 5 begins with what’s known as the Sermon on the Mount. I found myself getting emotional as I was reading because it all feels so timely. Jesus presented a kingdom that was completely upside down from the kingdoms of the world, a kingdom where gentleness and humility are more valued than power and pride. Jesus be near. It’s so very easy for us to lose our way.
In Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5 He moves us from action to intention, telling us that not only is murder wrong, but so is using your words in a wounding way. He tells us to love our enemies and pray for them and to turn the other cheek when we are wronged. We are to do everything within our power to keep our relationships clear – even delaying giving an offering until things are right. Jesus’ words were countercultural then; they seem completely alien in our present day. Often, even among those that claim the name of Jesus.
Throughout history Christianity has been used and manipulated to excuse horrible atrocities. The thing about history is that it just keeps repeating itself over and over unless we learn from it. The early Church was so different from the culture of its day! The way those early followers behaved was revolutionary – they stood out; they were different. And people were drawn to them with a desire to know why. Who are we drawing today? What can we learn from those early believers?
Today is the day that we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These words of his, engraved on the south wall of the memorial in D.C., seemed to fit our reading this week: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” As followers of Christ, we are to be the light of the world. Are we living up to our mandate?
Executive Director of Education and Outreach