The Gospel lesson for today continues the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5:21-37. And Jesus makes some startling pronouncements: anger is the same as murder and lust is the same as adultery. We recognize the prohibitions against murder and adultery as part of the Ten Commandments. They are religious and cultural norms that limit destructive behavior. Most of Jesus' listeners then as today could say of all of the Ten Commandments they have kept these rules. But now Jesus crosses over into the mess of our lives where anger and lust and name-calling and broken promises litter our landscapes. Those listening can no longer say they are not guilty. Anger is a frequent emotion, or at least we engage in name-calling while driving in metropolitan traffic. And it certainly has shown up in this political season with its sidekick fear. Essentially Jesus said that rule-keeping is not enough. Relationships are more important, Reconciliation is a hope for those who have a dispute. Seek the wholeness and respect of men and women rather than treating them as sexual objects. Oaths are to be replaced by unabashed honesty. At the core of this message is certainly the teaching of the Golden Rule, treating others as we wish to be treated.
Okay, what is this picture supposed to be? I was fascinated by the light coming through the textured glass in our front door.