Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Food For Thought:
This is a familiar passage of Scripture for many followers of Christ. In this lesson taught by Jesus, Jesus reminds his followers that they should do spiritual practices―not to make themselves look spiritual but to gain a deeper connection with God. Think about the spiritual practices that are a part of your spiritual life. What is it about those practices that help you to connect with God on a deeper level? What spiritual practice could you add to your repertoire?
God of the covenant,
you call us to be fruitful servants within creation,
and to offer our lives
as the foundation of your realm.
We lay before you the desires of our hearts,
that we may be transformed by their fulfillment. In your sacred name we pray, Amen.
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