For the 18th Sunday in Pentecost 2020 fromPastor Matthew:
The Exodus reading for us today is the first time we encounter the decalogue in the Hebrew text. What beautiful and sensible rules these 10 commandments are, what excellent and salutary council by which any wise person might order a peaceful life...are they not? And yet there is troubling language here...talk of slaves as if condoning this abhorrent practice of treating children of God as chattel, and also the clear preposition that these rules are for men only since woman cannot think for themselves or be responsible in themselves...what are we to do with these hard pieces? We cannot pretend they are not there! We must contend with them and they must remind us that everything written is interpretable. And what must we use to interpret everything, and most particularly the scriptures? The lense of the cross and the life and teachings of Jesus...this is our only hope for true understanding.
The gospel reminds us that God, again and again and again, chooses what is small and simple and rejected in which to reveal Godself. The cornerstone that the masons through away turns out to be the key to holding everything, the whole world, up. We are not to count on our deeds and actions, or our wealth, on our upbringing and pedigree, but we must cling to the only thing that is not passing (as Paul reminds us in the epistle reading for today) faith in the grace of God as personified in Jesus Christ...all else is rubbish