30C today. But already from the west, we can hear the rumblings of thunder. Good.
We need the rain. Rain is like the blessings of God being showered down upon us all.
It is up to us if we accept God's blessings and be ready for change and renewal.
Cause us, O God, to not remain compliant in our faith. Help us to open our hearts and minds and souls to Your work in our community and world. For those who need You this day, we pray that their needs might be met through the work of our hands. This we ask in Your Son’s name. Amen.
Read St. Matthew 23: 23-24
This is the fourth “Woe”. Jesus is telling the Scribes and Pharisees that they are looking at faith in teeny tiny little bits. The Scribes and Pharisees are tithing mint and dill and cummin to bring themselves closer to God, but they have forgotten the big issues of faith. The bigger picture of faith is justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Dill and cummin were not required by the Torah nor by the Mishnah (the second law that the Scribes and Pharisees kept). These are optional things. The more important law that the Torah says is required first is justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
Jesus then says to the Scribes and Pharisees that they are straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel. Just think about this image for a minute. Is it even possible? Nope, Jesus is providing the Scribes and Pharisees with a wonderful image of their faith.
Look to God first, do not look to the small laws first.
Oops, the Scribes and Pharisees are trying to abide by the Torah and the Mishnah, but in doing so, they have lost sight of God.
Have we lost sight of God in our Churches today? Are we straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel? Are we so wrapped up with keeping the Church finances together that we loose sight of the people that God is asking us to help?
This day, how will you bring justice, mercy, and faithfulness into your life?
Holy God, use us this day to bring about justice, mercy, and faithfulness into the lives of all people. Be with those who are at war. Grant them peace. Be with those who are victims of war. Grant them peace. Be with those who are involved in bringing aid to countries that are in need. In all this, we ask that Your will be done. Amen.