July 14, 2019
“Talk is cheap!” True, deep, genuine faith is about more than just talk. It is about the values we cherish and the ways in which those values are reflected in the living of our lives.
Sometimes I wish we weren’t called Christians. At times it seems like too big a temptation to misunderstand what really lies at the heart of our faith. All too often we find our attention focused on Christ, instead of on the life to which Christ points us. I think it was the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, who observed that there were too many admirers of Jesus, and not enough followers of Jesus. The Church was never supposed to be a Jesus Admiration Society. It was intended as a community where we encourage each other to discover and follow the path which Jesus points us to. In the early days of the Church, before the name Christian caught on as the description given to those who were a part of the movement, the name by which they were known was “Followers of the Way.” 2,000 years later it’s still not a bad description. It helps to keep our attention primarily on the path, instead of on the guide. Please don’t get me wrong – the guide is important, but only if we allow him to serve as guide. In the text we read this morning from Matthew’s Gospel we find Jesus offering a warning about this very danger. “You can’t just use the right words. It’s not enough to drop my name and expect everything to automatically work out OK. I don’t want lip service. I want heart service.”