This weekend we come to our final section in our #minisermonseries on the Sermon on the Mount. Though Jesus’s lengthy sermon will continue on for another two chapters in Matthew, we must sadly move on to Transfiguration Sunday and into the season of Lent. But before we do, Jesus has some important teachings for us to consider.

Adding to the expansion he has already done with the Ten Commandments last week, Jesus turns his attention first to the “laws of retribution.”

Many of us have heard the age-old proverb: an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind. Jesus takes this concept to a whole new level. Rather than to respond to violence or transgression with further injury or retribution, Jesus suggests that the Kingdom of God operates on a model that disbands the entire system by refusing to feed into it. That shows strength in the face of domineering bullies by shocking them with the exact opposite response they expect. Putting them off-balance and making them uncomfortable. And, even better, showing them for what they really are to the rest of the world so that the whole system begins to unravel.

Because you see, Jesus continues, what we are called to as his followers is to perfection as God’s children.

Ooof. Well… that seems like more than we can do.

Except, it is not the kind of perfection most of us are thinking about. It is not the must do every single thing right and say all the correct things all the time and never fail to be happy or to keep people comfortable or to maintain the status quo. Although much of the church has tried to make this the kind of perfection churchgoers seek.

Jesus is talking about perfection in fulfilling the one, single commandment that sums up all the rest. Still a difficult task, to be sure. Maybe even harder to fulfill in some ways. Nevertheless, we have an endless store of help in the one giving us this mandate.

Come to church as we enjoy one last Sunday of respite before all the big Sundays begin!

Blessings, Pastor Janie

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