- Pastor Roy Stetler
February 12, 2023 Sermon Summary
Jesus’ sermon on the mount (specifically, Mt. 5:21-37) reminds us that faith is not practiced in our heads, but in all our relationships--with people, with creation, with God, and ourselves. It is to practice mercy in community.
Jesus is not revealing how to earn favor with God, or be good enough to get by, he invites us to a single unity of being—shared grace. Mercy is practiced in groups of varying sizes. Whole nations, states, small towns, congregations, and families.
We are given one miraculous life. The more wisely we invest it, the more we can accomplish with the precious gifts we have been given. The sermon on the mount is about the investment of a lifetime.
Jesus is calling us to be of one body, one mind, one heart. We are tempted to live divided lives, sectioned off from one another and within ourselves. Jesus is inviting us to simplify our practice. To keep our vows and commitments to those to whom we have committed ourselves and to whom we have been committed by the course of our lives---to the extent that we are able to do so with a healthy heart, body, and mind.
Jesus is calling us to integrity--to be grounded in truth, loyalty, and generosity.
Of course, we fail. We fall asleep in our faith. We prefer to protect our reputation rather than our integrity. We tend to take care of our appetites first and then share leftovers.
Jesus is not insisting we live perfectly, but that we make every humble effort to love and allow ourselves to be loved. He is inviting us to simple faith tending each relationship with integrity.
May we surrender ourselves to such grace-filled wisdom.
Thanks be to God.
Pastor, Quickel Evangelical Lutheran Church