We laughed with hope as we witnessed a new generation hearing an ancient truth.
Season after Pentecost | 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; (Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18; Psalm 1;) 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 22:34-46
Have you ever been inordinately annoyed by someone else's clothing? I have, and in my experience this is a classic indicator of what this week's Leviticus reading calls “hating someone in my heart.” When I'm repressing anger or frustration, I suddenly notice the hideously out-of-date belt my relative is wearing, or the way-too-short-in-every-inseam pantsuit my co-worker has on. The clothes are never the true offense, of course, but they send off alarms: time to speak up.
We have, in fact, been given a simple code for living.
In this life, sanctification is gradual and difficult. Why would it be different in the life to come?
In my Century lectionary column for this week, I mention Scot McKnight’s description of the dual love commandment in Mark 12:28-33 (and synoptic parallels) as the “Jesus Creed”—which also happens to be the title of his popular book on the subject and the name of his blog. My sense is that our lectionary readings from the Leviticus holiness code and the Sermon on the Mount are summae of the gospel.
by John W. VestFebruary 17, 2014
What does God require of us? We tend to like Jesus’ most famous answer, what Scot McKnight calls the Jesus Creed: to love God with our entire being and to love our neighbors as ourselves. But what about the answer we find in the holiness code of Leviticus and the Sermon on the Mount? Are we really ready to sign up for a program of holiness and perfection? Sure, it’s simple and to the point. But what chance do we have of living up to these radical standards?
by John W. VestJanuary 30, 2014