Isaiah 58:1-12, I Corinthians 2:1-12 and Matthew 5:13-20
I was only in my twenties preaching at Mt Hebron UMC, Greeneville, TN when I first heard the expression, “I don’t feel like I’ve been to church if I haven’t had my toes stepped on.” Said by an older fellow, a farmer, someone long lived in that church who had seen a lot of preachers come and go, and heard thousands of sermons. I tried to take that as both a compliment (maybe) and as a word of advice.
This Sunday’s scriptures are heavy on the “stepping.” Isaiah finds fault, Jesus finds fault, Paul finds fault. We will hear that in all these passages. Take it to heart and respond accordingly.
But we will also hear affirmation and Good News. Even with criticism of behavior and thought, the Prophet, the Apostle, and our Savior announce hope and promise! Good News! The story should have a happy encouraging word even if our toes hurt some.
Whether as parents, teachers, coaches, supervisors, leaders, advisors, friends, community workers, we are called sometimes to point out flaws, mistakes, misdirection, and correctable behavior. It’s how we grow, mature, and walk through life with some sense of successful living.
“You are great because you are my child, friend, family, co-worker but……please take note! Check out what’s missing here.” “And I promise to check out my own behavior and thought too!”
And the relationship is important when the Word comes to us. After all, the “corrective” comes from our God, our Savior who loves us. And loves those too that we are called to NOT neglect. It is personal AND interpersonal! Everybody is affected!
To what end? So as to all live in The Kingdom of God!
Come and hear this together with each other in worship this Sunday!