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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for October 25, 2017

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, please register for an account at Facebook. By checking the "Post to Facebook" box when commenting, you'll be able to find and quickly link back to this page from your Facebook account. You can also find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.

WEDNESDAY, October 25

Matthew 12:6-7 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice,” you would not have condemned the guiltless.

Matthew challenges us with the way he relates Jesus’ rigorous gospel of mercy. Frequently, preachers respond to today’s lesson by depicting Jesus as a rule breaker, and they encourage their audience to turn things upside-down, just like Jesus. Go ahead. Break the rules and rubrics. Defy expectations like Jesus did.

Such interpretations capture only part of Matthew’s message. Matthew’s Jesus does care deeply about God’s commandments and the fulfillment of them. Matthew’s Jesus defies expectations, but he does so for a purpose. Jesus invites us to enter more fully into the holy logic of God’s commandments—a holy logic governed by what might seem to us to be an illogical and radical mercy.

This radical mercy of God fills the hungry with good things and restores the brokenness of humanity. Mercy becomes the road that leads us into sabbath—God’s rest and peace. And so it is fitting that Jesus invites us again and again into a practice of mercy that defies expectations and human logic.

MOVING FORWARD: What rules are worth breaking for Jesus?

PRAY for the Diocese of the Arctic (Canada)

Ps 38 * 119:25-48 | Lamentations 2:8-15 | 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 | Matthew 12:1-14

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