Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 7:3’


Proverbs 26Foolishness

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Hals: Jester With a Lute

Written on January 20, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

Drinking violence, tying a stone in a sling, cutting off our own feet: these are all actions we can easily see as foolish.

Seizing a dog by the ears is the same as meddling in an argument not our own.   Gossip descends to our inmost parts.  These are sayings we have heard and believe.

Fervent lips with an evil heart are a freezing glaze on earthenware.  This is an image that might escape us.

We fall into our own pits.  The rocks we hurl come hurling back at us.  These are consequences we might not anticipate . . . yet they are results that we might foresee as students of the Word.

In Numbers, Balaam curses his donkey for making a fool of him (Numbers 22).  Samson bemoans the fact that Delilah makes him a fool (Judges 16).  Saul admits he acted foolishly (1 Samuel 26).   These are all stories we have heard.

The Psalmist writes that a fool says there is no God (Psalms 14 and 53).  The wisdom books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes have too many sayings on fools to enumerate here.  We can recite the clever sayings from heart.

Isaiah (32:6), Jeremiah (17:11), and Hosea (9:7) describe foolish ways as ones which lead us away from God.  They warn us away from falling to our own pride.

In Matthew (5:22) and Luke (12:20) Jesus tells us that we are fools when we forget that God may call on us at any moment for an accounting.   We repeat his words to others.

Paul tells the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 3 and 2 Corinthians 11:1) that he will become foolish in the eyes of the world in order to become wise in God’s.  We find it difficult to live a life of inversion.

Scripture gives us able tools to see foolishness in ourselves and in others; yet we continue to ignore the lessons open to us each day.  When we persist in our own foolish behavior we fool no one but ourselves.

Just this morning a friend and I were discussing how we humans can be so imprudent so consistently.  We fuss over the sawdust in another’s eyes while refusing to remove the plank from our own.  (Matthew 7:3 and Luke 6:41)  Only God has the solution to this predicament . . . it is foolish to turn away from this saving force.

And so we might pray . . . Dear Lord, keep us from the world’s foolishness . . . imbue us with your wisdom . . . guide us in your ways . . . for these are the ways which heal and restore.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 


A re-post from February 2, 2012.

Image from: http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~wbc/Gowing/Gowing.html

Read Full Post »


Isaiah 10: Social Injustice

Thursday, January 26, 2017 social-injustice

As we conclude our look at God’s inverted kingdom, we consider a Favorite from June 10, 2009, and we reflect on how Jesus might deal with the social injustice we find in our societies.

Isaiah 10 is book-ended by words that we hear so often during the Advent season: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light . . . But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from this root a bud shall blossom.  These words remind us that someone is coming great enough to take all of us in . . . and indeed, this one is already among us.  Today’s Noontime reminds us of what pulls us away from God and it draws clear imagery with Assyria and Sennacherib as vehicles not only of pain and loss, but ultimate transformation . . . if we but follow the Light, the Christ.  The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light . . . But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from this root a bud shall blossom. 

Isaiah tells us clearly that when we trust the Lord we need not tremble before overwhelming odds.  If we move out of the darkness to stand in the light and obey the voice within, we have nothing to fear.  Do not fear the Assyrian, though he strikes you with a rod, and raises his staff against you. 

Isaiah reminds us that though we are small, we are also mighty . . . when we place our fear where it is best handled, in God’s capable hands.  The tall of stature are felled, and the lofty ones brought low; the forest thickets are felled with the ax. 

Isaiah repeats a theme often heard with the prophets: those who can remain faithful through the holocaust will be standing when all others have blown away like chaff in the wind.  The remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no more lean upon him who struck them; but they will lean upon the Lord . . . a remnant will return . . . only a remnant will return.

Allowing injustice to happen without speaking or witnessing is the broad path taken by many; but it is not the marrow path taken by the remnant.  As Jesus tells us in Matthew (7:3) and Luke (13:24), most of us will succumb to a system that allows injustice for many the sake of the comfort of a few.  This remnant that remains in God will have to bend before the force of the storm, but all of this bending will be worthwhile.  This is the message that Isaiah brings to us: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light . . . But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from this root a bud shall blossom. 

Read Full Post »


Isaiah 10Social Injustice

 Thursday, June 2, 2016renewal

Isaiah 10 is book-ended by words that we hear so often during the Advent season: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light . . . But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from this root a bud shall blossom.  These words remind us that someone is coming great enough to take all of us in . . . and indeed, this one is already among us.  Today’s Noontime reminds us of what pulls us away from God and it draws clear imagery with Assyria and Sennacherib as vehicles not only of pain and loss, but ultimate transformation . . . if we but follow the Light, the Christ.  The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light . . . But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from this root a bud shall blossom. 

Isaiah tells us clearly that when we trust the Lord we need not tremble before overwhelming odds.  If we move out of the darkness to stand in the light and obey the voice within, we have nothing to fear.  Do not fear the Assyrian, though he strikes you with a rod, and raises his staff against you. 

Isaiah reminds us that though we are small, we are also mighty . . . when we place our fear where it is best handled, in God’s capable hands.  The tall of stature are felled, and the lofty ones brought low; the forest thickets are felled with the axe. 

Isaiah repeats a theme often heard with the prophets: those who can remain faithful through the holocaust will be standing when all others have blown away like chaff in the wind.  The remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no more lean upon him who struck them; but they will lean upon the Lord . . . a remnant will return . . . only a remnant will return.

Allowing injustice to happen without speaking or witnessing is the broad path taken by many; but it is not the marrow path taken by the remnant.  As Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:3 and Luke 13:24, most of us will succumb to a system that allows injustice for many the sake of the comfort of a few.  This remnant that remains in God will have to bend before the force of the storm, but all of this bending will be worthwhile.  This is the message that Isaiah brings to us: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light . . . But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from this root a bud shall blossom.

A Favorite from June 10, 2009.

Read Full Post »


Second Sunday of Lent, March 23, 2014

20121226_the-richness-of-generosity_banner_imgAmos 8:5-6

Prayer for Generosity

Jesus says: Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  (Matthew 7:3)

We experience the richness of God’s love when we spend time changing ourselves rather than attempting to change others.  As we reflect on the call we hear from Amos to think about how greed might invade our lives, we pray.

We have diminished the ephah . . . let us remember to be generous as God has been generous to us.  For all that we have and all that we are, we pray: thank you, Creator, for the gift of body, mind and soul.  

We will add to the shekel . . . let us remember to be honest as God has been honest. For all that we are given and all that we love, we pray: thank you, Jesus, for the gift of your trustworthiness and truth.

We will buy the lowly man for a pair of sandals . . . let us remember that generosity is nurtured when we trust in God alone. Thank you, Christ, for your sacrifice of self that we might live in you.

We will sell the refuse of the wheat harvest . . . let us remember that big-heartedness flourishes when we live in the Spirit.  Thank you, Holy Spirit, for the bounty and kindness you bring with your in-dwelling.

Jesus says:  Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:15-20)

Honesty, truth, trustworthiness, kindness, bounty, transformation, big-heartedness, sacrifice. These are the signs of God’s generosity in our lives.  These are the fruits by which we wish to be known. This is the richness we receive.  This is the richness we share with others when we live in God’s generosity. Amen.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: