A way to live a mission in your spiritual health;
In both prayer and practice of your faith, avoid outward show and pride in both your private and public life.
Based on Matthew 23:1-12
A way to live a mission in your spiritual health based on Matthew 23:1-12, a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, 11/5/17.
Jesus warns the crowds and his disciples not to follow the example set by the scribes and Pharisees who sit on Moses’ seat. [The seat of Moses was the seat in the synagogue for the teacher delivering the sermon.] Do what they say but do not do what they do for they do not practice what they teach. They increase religious rules but do nothing to make them easier to live. They parade their own religious practices such as wearing texts written on parchment, “phylacteries,” and worn on the forehead and forearm at prayer time, perhaps to ward off demons. Their robes boast with extra long tassels on the corners (various texts call for tassels on the outer garment). They like the seats of honor at banquets and to be greeted on the street as “rabbi” [“great one” or “teacher”]. God is the teacher and all people are students. While great Jewish teachers of the past were called “father,” the real Father is God. Neither should they be called instructor for the real instructor is the Messiah [or the Christ]. Serve others to be great. The way of humility will be rewarded and its opposite will be humbled [for Matthew this means “punished;” among the four gospels, it is Matthew who emphasizes punishment].
A theme: Be humble, not proud; the greatest serve others.