Morning Prayer: Last Sunday of Epiphany (Transfiguration Sunday)

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Psalms: 148, 149, 150
Old Testament: Deut 6:1-9
New Testament: Hebrews 12:18-29

So why is this commandment set above all others??? What is its significance?

At first glance it seems obvious……of course we love God…..don’t we???? It makes sense that we have an affection for the one who created us from the dust. But do we love him to the exclusion of all else???

It is no surprise that the Shema is always coupled with the commandment not to have other gods before YHWH.

You may remember last month, I mentioned Tim Keller In his book Counterfeit Gods he argues that these Gods refer not only to foreign deities but to ideas and roles as well.

Do we love God more than wealth? Do we love God more than we love our independence? Do we love God more than being a parent? A spouse? A student? A priest?

These questions are difficult as they cut to the very heart of our identity :P…..That said, I do wonder what the answer to these questions would be if we were to answer honestly. +

Evening Prayer: Feb. 22nd

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Psalm: 124, 125, 126
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-20
Patristic Reading: N/A today….can’t find online copy

For my thoughts on the salt and light passage, take a look at my post from earlier this month.

One thing I can add to tonight’s passage though is that the two Great Commandments are hardly an innovation of Jesus. The exact wording is in fact embedded right in the Old Testament (Deut. 6:4 and Lev. 19:18).

What Jesus is doing here in the Sermon on the Mount is reminding the people of what they already know but have forgotten.

As has been pointed out by many commentators (including my own rector) the movement is not so much a revolution of Torah Law, but rather a return to the Spirit of the Law as opposed to the minutiae of regulations.

Hopefully the Church will take these words to heart. The institutional Church can–at times–find itself bogged down by canon law and out of a desire to be conciliatory. I suppose the question bols down to this: At what point does following the rules get in the way of following the Gospel???

Drop a line in the comment section and let me know what you think. 🙂 +

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