There are at least a couple of places in the Bible where we are called to do what seems impossible. The two I’m thinking of are Jesus’ words commonly called the Sermon on the Mount and St. Paul’s words captured in Romans 12:9-21. This Sunday I preached on the Romans passage and referred to it as Paul’s “version” of the Sermon on the Mount by which I meant it is a collection of instructions on how we should live as Christian people; and it isn’t easy. Neither of these are easy but are they impossible?
The first section of the text is much easier than the second. The first is all about love and patience and hope and other such things that even if they aren’t exactly easy to do, they are easy to get behind. Who doesn’t think we should love each other and be patient in suffering and be hospitable, everyone thinks these are good things. The next part though is not quite the same easy sell.
We are expected to forego revenge, we can’t return “as good as we get,” we are even expected to provide food and drink for our enemies. What’s up with that? How can any of this make sense? The only way it makes sense is if we are reminded and then convinced that God is a God of mercy and grace but also of justice. We forego revenge and extend goodness even to enemies because whatever punishment might be necessary will be taken care of by God. We don’t have to do it, we can leave it up to him. When we remember that, and only when we remember that, this moves from mission impossible to mission difficult but definitely possible.
Knox Presbyterian Is that even possible?
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Is that even possible?
I hope you find value in these sermons and if you are curious about the knee references, I got my left knee ‘scoped on Friday, find me on Facebook if you want visuals to go with it.