Metanoia: February 27, 2018

Isaiah 1:2-4, 16-20
Matthew 23:1-12
Psalm 50:7-15, 22-24

“Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless. ‘Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.’ This is God’s message.” -Isaiah 1:16b-1:18 (Peterson)

“But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father – the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.” Matthew 23.8-10 (NRSV)

“For you have one teacher, and you are all students.” We are all in this together. God is our teacher. On the face of it, that’s simple and straightforward. But our world tends to tell us another story: we should be tough and independent and work things out for ourselves and make up our own minds. But God has a different take on this.

In Isaiah, we’re told to argue it out – with God! How? In Matthew Jesus tells us how: work, talk, and pray with our fellow students. But there’s more. Is this too hard if no one present is the expert? Jesus says otherwise: “For when two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20) And there’s our teacher, our expert, our guide. When we argue it out with God in community, God is on our side, speaking to us through Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, through each other. We students can hear God when we listen to each other with Jesus present. God is with us.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. -Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)
-Tom Worrell