Jeremiah 1:1 and 4-10; Matthew 5:17-29 and 38-48
Scripture readings are drawn from Brian McLaren's We Make the Road by Walking (reference and public library here). Jeremiah was my own addition. I also trimmed out the sensational stuff from Matthew: Jesus on murder, adultery, and divorce.
Welcome to Part II of a Sermon on the Mount preaching series. This follows McLaren's suggested alternative lectionary and has made for some good Lenten reflection. It's been nice drawing connections to the season using new texts. This week my own insights relied heavily on the book Don't Forgive Too Soon: extending the two hands that heal by Dennis and Matthew Linn and Sheila Fabricant Linn (reference and public library). Committed to nonviolent conflict resolution, the authors ground their theological and biblical foundation in the work of Walter Wink. I explore specifically his take on Matthew 5 via this book.
I also talk about enemies and revenge. I am most deeply informed by Michael McCullough and his work Beyond Revenge: the evolution of the forgiveness instinct (reference and public library). I must say, while his criticisms are fair enough of religion -- the way we've pathologized revenge and mystified forgiveness -- I do think he misses a huge opportunity to interpret his work with a theological lens. I don't think it's enough just to point out errors. I wish he had used guest contributors to make connections and enliven possibilities. That said, his research is so helpful, his work accessible. His book overlaps with this gem by John Paul Lederach: The Moral Imagination: the art and soul of building peace (reference and public library.)
For two great episodes of Krista Tippett's Onbeing radio production with these two amazing thinkers, see here:
Question to Consider
When have you been called upon to break the rules of a tradition either spiritually or morally or ethically in order to get to grace?
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