Sermons from St. Matthew's Episcopal Church:
Aug 29, 2021 |
Listening to Jesus through the lens of today| The Rev. Linda Spiers
Listening to Jesus through the lens of today
In Mark 7:18, 14-15, 21-23, we enter into a conversation Jesus has with the religious leaders of his day. Those leaders criticize the disciples for not following the rules around hand washing. Jesus speaks on behalf of the disciples and taught them and the religious leaders: "For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come...." Henri Nouwen reflects about the heart with the following: "...By 'heart' I mean the centre of our being, the 'place' where were are most ourselves, where we are most human, where we are most real. In that sense the heart is the focus of the spiritual life." Jesus taught the disciples, and us as modern day disciples, to be real and authentic in ministry. They continued on as do we. Episcopal writer, academic and musician Sandra T. Montes has a provocative book entitled Becoming REAL and Thriving in Ministry. REAL is an acronym meaning Respectful relationships, Excellence, Authenticity, and Love--four ingredients she sees as an essential framework for all relationships whether individual or in ministries. She challenges us, just as Jesus challenges us, to be better and to open our hearts. How can we be conscious of transforming our tongues and words and actions to heal and build relationships?