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February 10, 2019 – The Fifth Sunday After Epiphany – Filters

Matthew 7:1-14, 24-29 Speck in the eye, narrow gate, wise man builds house on rock
(Psalm 37:16-18)
Lots of stuff going on here. Almost too much, to be honest. Judge not,
logs and specks, pearls before swine, holy to the dogs. Ask, seek, find,
Good gifts. Golden Rule. Narrow gate, wide road to destruction. I think we can find one or two more cliché type sayings to cram in here. And then we get to houses on sand and rock.
What happens if we lump all these things together? Instead of
treating them as separate proverbs to be painted on boards and hung
around the home for decoration, what if they are a paragraph, a short story, a novella? What if they belong together?
We hear judge not, and we also get to hear to unto others as we
would have them do to us. Judge a good gift. Be aware of the logs in our
eyes, and the specks in those of others. What happens if we apply the
Golden Rule to those sayings?
What our filter for texts like this? They’re hard, uncomfortable and
easier to deal with if we make them proverbs and not principles. Our filter should be Jesus Christ. Failing that, perhaps verse 12. How do thing look different if we read them all through the lens of the Golden Rule? Do we help people find rock to build their homes on? Do we give good gifts? Do we help people fine the narrow gate and walk the harder path? What is our filter for hearing these texts?