Breaking Open the Scriptures
Scriptures February 13th: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37 Theme: We all have a part in God’s plan. Song: Freely, Freely – UMH 389
1 Corinthians: Paul comes to realize that this community of Christians in Corinth has many gifts, and they really are working to get it all right. But he also realizes that they are still working to be a spiritual people. At the moment, they are relying on their own understanding, and not the spirit of God. They are still dealing with life as someone in the world would deal. It is next to impossible for any of us to think like God, and to not be human. We all get stuck in our feelings and understandings. Human divisions and human concerns will always be a part of the church. But we have to trust to that God works through us, in spite of ourselves. We have to invite the Holy Spirit to move and free us from those things we are still clinging to.
Matthew: This text is still a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is telling us how to be Christians. He is telling us how to go above and beyond the righteousness of the day to be extraordinary people of faith. He is reframing the ten commandments. Deuteronomy is the book of the law. It describes how we should treat one another. Jesus is asking what happens when you add love to the law? When you have an extraordinary love for people, that is the beginning of compassion. We shouldn’t just obey the laws of the land, we should show the love of God.
Questions: Is the church an earthly body, a spiritual body, or in some way a combination of the two? What do we need to be to become more spiritual? How do you build upon the people who have come before you in faith? What ministries are you continuing and nurturing, that someone else started? Is it really possible to have an extraordinary faith? Can you go beyond the law? What happens when you are persecuted for doing the right things? Does that cause you to lose your faith?