See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity..
This is what the Creator wishes for us, for all creation! This golden thread runs through the heart of true religion for the verdant flourishing of all life.
The commandments, as a rule, are a rule—as in a ruler (it is the same referent for our ruling elders), a measure, a blueprint for a life well lived. Jesus doubles down on the idea and on the Mosaic law in his sermon to the beaten-down crowds: “You have heard it said… I say to you…” He’s here to fulfill, not abolish, the law.
But we will want to listen carefully. The crowds surely are. They are not naïve. They know the ways power can twist and manipulate even if they cannot stop it. They see hypocrisy. And so does Jesus. So stop the games, he says. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Then you will live.
Enter into worship.
Readings: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 † Psalm 119:1-8 † 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 † Matthew 5:21-37
About the Art:[i] Elizabeth Stewart has been involved in a variety of crafts throughout her life. She is a Caribbean Artist whose work is heavily influenced by her Barbadian upbringing and her Lokono Arawak heratige. Her work articulates the vibrancy and creativity of Caribbean Culture. Her paintings are influenced by Religious art of the Renaissance and European Impressionists as well as Indigenous and African Woodcarving. Her current work reflects her consideration of Religion and Race in the Caribbean as well as the landscapes and people as seen through her eyes.
[i] Sermon on the Mount, Janice Elizabeth Stewart. Originally from Gallery of Caribbean Art (artgallerycaribbean.com). Retrieved on January 30, 2023 from: https://postmodernmissionary.com/blog/2019/7/22/what-is-a-sermon-anyway. Artist biography adapted from her Facebook page, retrieved on January 30, 2023 from: https://www.facebook.com/artbybaiti.
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