Scripture: Matthew 5:27-37
Key verse: (27) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
Reflection: In a former church, one of my colleagues asked me to do something that was a little bit out of the guidelines. It was something she believed the church needed to offer to a family, but she struggled with it being a non-traditional form of pastoral care. She liked the rules and the familiar road of tradition. My colleague also knew that I travel a different path and was willing to bend a rule out of a need for justice and love. We worked together for years, love each other dearly, but we have a very different approach to faith and life. She was a traditionalist and I was a nonconformist and we realized that Jesus actually invited us into a third way.
Jesus used this pattern, “you have heard it said…but I say…” and sparked the moral and social imagination of the people. Jesus directed the people beyond what tradition or justice required to what the Creator desired. The third way that is deeper and wiser than anything we could have considered. The issue may not even matter because love and responsibility are at the heart of this way of Jesus. Love was to be extended farther than we could imagine, to them and to us and even our enemies. God’s intention calls us to move beyond the place, stance or limits we have imposed. God is out ahead of us and calls us forward. Calling us out of our boxes and onto a journey that is not finished yet. One that is full of adventure and transformation for each and every one of us.
Prayer: God before us, behind us, above us and around us, call us into a third way of living and loving. Give us grace to learn and to humbly walk this journey with you. In your son’s holy name we pray. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].