Luke’s sermon on the plain, begun last week, stretches over three Sundays in the lectionary. Today, Jesus continues teaching about the new kind of community that God’s reign is building.
In the old, earthly ways of thinking, there is only so much grace to go around. A world of scarcity requires the rule of reciprocity to govern the way people treat one another: Do good for a person so that they will do good for you in the future; do harm to another and expect harm in return. This is simply the way of the world.Those who follow Jesus are sent to make visible God’s reign in the world by the kind of community they create with one another, especially with those at the margins and with enemies from whom they have withheld their kindness. Click To Tweet
However, Jesus’s disciples are called to leave behind the old ways and enter into a new way of being. Those who follow Jesus are sent to make visible God’s reign in the world by the kind of community they create with one another, especially with those at the margins and with enemies from whom they have withheld their kindness. Jesus’s disciples do not just passively avoid vindictiveness or meanness but actively work for the good of those whom the world says don’t deserve it, those they might not even like. In God’s reign, abundance rules. Thus our relationships are governed by mercy.
In our divided world, God’s reign may feel distant. Yet we have only to live by its law of abundance to make it more visible each day.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Didgeman from Pixabay.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- Opening our lives to the stranger
- The meaning of prayer
- Hospitality of home and heart
- Can we be neighbors?
- Leading music and prayer