Sunday, 18 July 2010

Easy to miss

I was reading through the Gospel of Matthew the other day, and completely missed one of the keys to tonight's sermon. In reading Matthew 5, it's easy to take in the wisdom concerning adultery, divorce, etc. and not focus on something much more prevalent, like in verses 21-22.

‘You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not murder”; and “whoever murders shall be liable to judgement.” But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, “You fool”, you will be liable to the hell of fire.
Matthew 5:21-22

This was referenced in our study of the ten commandments, obviously concerning the 6th. It's easy to see 'You shall not murder' and praise ourselves for all the times we've set our hearts against someone, but stopped short of taking a life. But the nature of murder is malicious and premeditated; it's something in the attitude of our hearts. If we set our hearts against someone, how are we loving our enemies, as Jesus calls us to?

We were asked to look at some tough topics: Murder, suicide, euthanasia, abortion. That is, killing people in acts of aggression, in acts of mercy, all premeditated, all setting a number on someone's days- taking the role of God. Even our own days aren't ours to choose as every life points to something more than itself. Every human is worth far more than other animals, because we alone are made in God's image- we alone exist as pointers to God's nature, reflections of His Glory and as such have significance far beyond our own existence. Even the child, whom God "knits in the womb" is planned by God, even if not by us.

But some of us find it easy to see these acts as abhorrent, but truth be told, our acts of anger, slander, hateful will for others, all of these put us in league with those who commit more obvious acts of murder. God calls our hearts to follow His way, and we will always fall short.

‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same?
Matthew 5:43-46

These examples of the life we are called to live can so often be stark reminders of how far we've got to go- but we will never get there. It's through Jesus that our sins and everything that keeps us from God are taken away, and we are left, clothed in His Glory, not by our own actions, but by His.

We have all committed murder in our hearts, by our anger and ungodly thoughts, and in response to God's Grace, we are called to be imitators of Christ, eternally striving for hearts that reflect the Creator. It's so good to know that because of our faith in Jesus we will always be forgiven if we turn toward God. There is no sin that can keep us from Him, if we give it over and accept salvation.

Praise God!

Those who have been (relatively) long-time readers would know that my heart and mind visit dark places that weigh me down in a manner as described above. I've wanted to hurt people, to hate my enemies. Someone took something that didn't belong to them. I did the same thing, but I felt such great hate for him, even though he didn't know he was doing anything wrong. How much worse am I, who judged him, knowing what was good, but still choosing the wrong path for myself? I hated him for doing what I'd done and taking something to which no one had any entitlement, but both of us wanted. He doesn't know Jesus. I do. I cannot judge him, have no right, but instead I set my heart on evil thoughts of revenge.

I knew I didn't want him to die- but only because I wanted him to see what he'd done wrong. I wanted to shed his blood.

I need to pray for him and myself, that he might come to know Jesus as Saviour, and that I might see my own actions for what they are- and truly seek to be an ambassador for Christ, ever conscious of my need for God's Grace.

I've also got an exam tomorrow which I'm continuing to prepare for. It'll be such sweet relief to be free of study for... week.

I really miss My Love. She'll be back in the country this Friday, but I don't think I can see her for a while. I'll be working hard until Uni starts. I promised a friend that I'd help him move house the following weekend, but if I can't see My Love until then, I'll have to throw him off. We're so incredibly blessed to have each other. It was great to spend the night with another dear friend, chatting into the small hours, confident of each others love. It's good to get things off my chest, and just breathe in another's presence. He'll be a great Best Man.

It is so easy to love those who love us. That's the easy part.

You may have noticed a new link in the side bar, (under "What's this nonsense?") detailing what this site's all about and offering an introduction to Most Strange. It is kinda odd, all these (not)chickens, weird posts, etc. I thought it'd help people who might be confused, for example, by my choice of name.

And I also just love talking about me.

I hope everything's coming together for anyone reading. It'll never be all sewn up, but I hope the seams are holding well enough for a good laugh and a bike ride.

There's always help available when the stuffing starts to leak out.

Much love,



  1. Wow...this was a lot to digest first thing in the morning, but I understood your message loud and clear. Ironically, I'm now off to Sunday mass, and you've given me a lot to comtemplate on while I am there. Thank you very much for that.

  2. Aw I hope you get to see your Love soon! :)

  3. No worries, Emmy. I hope the service goes well and inspires much more thought :).

    Indeed, Sophe. I may just steal the car and zoom across country and make it happen anyway once she returns ;).

    Is that how I'd spell it if I'm going for the "oaf" sound? Sophe? Soph? Sofe?

    It's WAY too early in the morning here...