February 14, 2011

Be perfect

As we continue through selected portions of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes a simple enough statement to the crowd gathered, "Be perfect..."

Be perfect.

Be... perfect...

This really isn't that simple at all.  Truth be told, it is rather impossible to be perfect.  When FBC was as young as six months she was already manipulating us in order to get what she wanted. As much as a I hate to admit it, even she isn't perfect.

I'm back to the question I raised last week (I think, I'm sorry I didn't post much last week) "who then can be saved.  If the standard is "be perfect" then we are all in a royal mess.  Just look at some of the ways of living that are lifted up by Moses, Paul, and Jesus in our lessons for Sunday.
  • leave the gleanings for the poor and the alien
  • don't steal
  • don't deal falsely
  • don't lie
  • don't swear falsely
  • pay your laborers at the end of each day
  • don't be unjust
  • don't show partiality
  • don't slander
  • don't hate your kin
  • be a temple for God
  • turn the other cheek
  • give away your cloak
  • walk the second mile
  • pray for your enemy
  • be perfect
As Keith said in his sermon on Sunday, the bar was high to start with, but Jesus lifted it to the point of absurdity.  For the second Sunday in a row we are forced to deal with the reality that grace doesn't come without judgment.  We have failed to be perfect, if not from birth, then at least from age 6 months, and so we are in desperate need for a savior.  We can save themselves? No one.  Who can be saved? Everyone.

Thanks be to God for the life, death, and resurrection of his only Son, our savior, Jesus Christ, who was indeed perfect.

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