We are celebrating a holiday this week. If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse, you had better not forget. It is a day that we celebrate love (mostly romantic love). We buy candy, write love letters; flowers sometimes come along with the deal. You might think that we would reflect on love this week in worship. Certainly, love is a powerful theme in Scripture. God’s love (agape) for us outshines our frail love for each other. However, we are not talking about love this week.
Our text for the week, however, deals with the heart. We are not talking about the red ones that you will see hanging around. We are talking about the ancient understanding of the heart. The heart was considered the inmost part of one’s being. It was considered the center of a person. While a person might temporarily adjust one’s actions, true change does not take place if it does not first begin in the heart.
Jesus understood this truth. As we continue our study of Matthew 5 (The Sermon on the Mount), Jesus’ expectations for his follows seem to reach an impossible level. He speaks of anger, lust, marriage and divorce. He demolishes the systems set up by the religious leaders around these sins. They had neatly ordered the sins and compartmentalized levels of rule-breaking. Yet Jesus sets the bar high, even to an unachievable degree. Can anyone live up to this teaching? How can we possibly measure up to these standards?
Join us on Sunday as we explore Matthew 5:21–37. Jesus calls us to not only consider our actions but also our hearts. We will realize that we can not do this alone. We will need a source outside of us if we are ever going to live up to Kingdom standards. May we allow God to transform us from the deepest levels of our being so that can follow him authentically.