What I’m Reading Today: Matthew 5:1-20
For years I had dreamed about serving a faith community that had lots of community partners sharing the use of the church building. Nothing made me sadder than knowing a church building/property that was created to celebrate the presence of God sat empty most days during the week. In fact, one of the draws to serving the faith community at which I currently serve was the church’s commitment to inviting many, many, many community partners to share the use of the facility.
Over the past ten months, however, I’ve learned a great deal about the old saying, “Be careful what you ask for – you just might get it.” That’s because over the past ten months, I’ve lived into the day-to-day challenges of trying to balance the competing demands of over 30 community groups. That challenge has caused me to question my sanity at times.
You see I was initially very naïve about how community groups would interact with one other. I was hoping that once we began to lay out a vision of healthy community that individuals in each group would balance their needs with the needs of the community as a whole. I was wrong.
As a result, we in the church office have had to spend lots of time talking about the details and contract terms and less time talking about relationships than I would have liked.
So what’s all of this have to do with today’s reading?
Well, in today’s reading Jesus does a wonderful job of trying to summarize the way he sees his life and ministry against the backdrop of his tradition. Instead of trying to establish himself over and above the tradition (i.e. “I’m not here to demolish, but to complete”), Jesus shared his balanced vision (i.e. “I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama”). What a beautiful sense of perspective!
Perhaps there is an area of your life where you have been bucking some of the demands laid out before you. Maybe you feel as if someone/something has come into your life simply to limit or constrain your freedom.
If that’s the case, I would encourage you to step back and get a glimpse of the vast panorama (the big picture) that lies before you. That sense of perspective might give you a healthier, more spiritual sense of the whole than you could have gained by simply considering your small piece of the puzzle.
Til next time…