Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The extra mile and the other cheek

    The focus this week shifts a little
although we are still emphasising that it is not just sufficient to
say the right thing
but also to do it
last week's emphasis
was more on not doing the wrong thing
But today we are exhorted to do the right thing
Both, of course, are necessary
Jesus uses extreme examples (hyperbole)
this grabs our attention
and indeed they contain some of his most memorable ideas
That is part of the purpose of hyperbole
-to grab our attention-

If anyone strikes you, then turn the other cheek!

If someone wants your jumper, give them your coat too!

To someone who make you do something you don't want, do more than they ask!

And so it goes on
This week therefore we are being invited to stretch ourselves in doing good.
You might immediately think of a situation where this applies, and so you have the opportunity to respond.
But if you need more convincing then maybe we need to go back to first principles (which is sort of what we have been doing over the last few weeks).
Jesus is inviting us not just to keep the rules,

or not just to not break the rules (if you can suss out that double negative)
but to recognise that this discipleship is going to be about

deciding at the very core of our being that we are going to live our life...not out of the book
but according to the principles.
This is probably harder,

because it means we have to actually think about what we do.

We have to do more than just accidently be Christian
It is about commitment.

So THIS WEEK..there may be some obvious place where we can go the extra mile, dig a little deeper, act more out of principle than out of duty
or we may have to grapple with this deeper again

To talk with Jesus about what this will mean.
This is not about punishment, it is not about making life hard. It is about acting out of the heart, rather than the head.
About living the Gospel, rather than keeping the rules.
Find one thing to do, and do it.

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