Freed, or in fear? (Matthew 15:1-9)

There is a king who frees us from superstitious rituals and enslaving fears.

“Can we shower yet, or do we just keep washing our hands?” We need humour this year. We fear an unhealthy person infecting our community, and fear can keep us from community.

Only in the last 130 years have we seen germs, but people back in Bible times knew it was healthy to wash. Washing was already a symbol of ritual cleansing in the first books of the Bible (Torah).

Ritual washing became a point of contention between Jesus and the leaders of his culture:

Continue reading “Freed, or in fear? (Matthew 15:1-9)”

What do you fear? (Exodus 1:12-22)

What you fear, you serve.

Open Exodus 1:12-22.

Exodus 1 provides real insight into what’s wrong with the powers in the world. To keep people under their control, rulers afflict them with heavy burdens (1:11 ESV). But you can’t squash people so easily: the heavy burdens Pharaoh placed on the Hebrews only made them stronger (1:12). And that’s why rulers become progressively more brutal (pě·rěḵ in 1:13, 14). Continue reading “What do you fear? (Exodus 1:12-22)”

The kingdom is God with his creatures (Matthew 10:29-31)

If a little bird falls in the forest, does anybody hear?

Open Matthew 10:29-31.

What was your first pet? A puppy? A kitten? A budgie? Remember its name? What did it mean to you?

How deeply we feel responsibility for a creature in our care! It’s beyond commercial value: even if you paid for it with pocket money, its precious life depends on you. Where does this sense of responsibility come from?

Jesus believed this tenderness is a glimpse of something beyond, an echo of God’s heartbeat for the creatures in his care: Continue reading “The kingdom is God with his creatures (Matthew 10:29-31)”