In Sanctuary worship this Sunday I am continuing my series Questions We Should Answer with another challenging question: Are you just getting by? It is a question about the way you approach life in general, your faith, your job, your service, your giving, your relationships — in other words, the way you approach almost anything. Are you just getting by?
Sometimes I hear it and sometimes I’ve heard it from my own lips — a question that focuses on minimum living: What is the least I can get by with? What is the least amount of time I have to spend? What is the least I can give? What is the least I have to do? What is the minimum amount of effort?
You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you that you must not oppose those who want to hurt you. If people slap you on your right cheek, you must turn the left cheek to them as well. When they wish to haul you to court and take your shirt, let them have your coat too. When they force you to go one mile, go with them two. Give to those who ask, and don’t refuse those who wish to borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, “You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore, just as your heavenly Father is complete in showing love to everyone, so also you must be complete. (Matthew 5:38-48)
Jesus’ question, “What more are you doing?” challenges his disciples — and challenges us to think beyond the minimum. At every point Jesus challenges us to do more than just get by.
I look forward to being in worship with you on Sunday.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster