lunes, 16 de junio de 2008

Compassion Rather than Sacrifice

I have joined a Facebook group called the "60 Day Challenge" with my three oldest children. It is a group of people challenged to read the New Testament in 60 days. To be honest, I have never done this before. I have read the whole Bible, different books at a time, but never from the beginning to the end, so this is a new challenge for me. This week was our first week and we were reading the book of Matthew of course. Once again I was struck by the references to hypocrisy. This time Jesus is speaking to the religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees, and condemns their behaviour because they are imposing man made laws as a requirement for spirituality. As I reflect on my own life and the religious leaders of the day today I see the same type of hypocrisy again. As I mentioned in the previous blog entry, it seems as though we are presenting a works based gospel. It is not wrong to fast and pray, or give to the poor etc., but when I look at the context of what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 9:13 and 12:7 when he quotes the old testament saying "learn what this means ' I desire compassion and not sacrifice' for I did not come to call the righteous but sinners', I see a God of love, a God that desires to save, not condemn. We are so quick to judge because of appearances and we are so quick to adjust our appearances for the judgement of others and yet we do not seem to give a second thought as to God's opinion. God does not care about what I wear (of course as long as I am modest as a woman), nor does he care if my friends are influential or if I live in the right neighborhood or if I have a certain job. What God cares about is my heart, my motivations, my passion, my priorities. Romans 12 reminds us to not conform ourselves to this world and it's thinking but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We need to have the mind of God, and see the world the way He does.

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