“He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Ego influenced me.
Oh, yes, there were other reasons, including using Lent’s forty days of discipline for the endeavor and a desire to share the unvarnished, unfettered good news of Jesus.
Every word. Every verse. Every paragraph.
I proclaimed the opening beatitudes to Jesus’ final warnings to those who built their “house on sand.”
I worked with a local professional actor to perfect my delivery. I prayed. I sweated. I doubted.
I did it.
The three chapters took around twenty minutes to preach. I was pleased as punch (okay, proud) that none of the words during that singular Easter Sunday were mine. I didn’t pick and choose the “good” stuff. I didn’t avoid the difficult sections. On that long-ago day of resurrection, I gave a small congregation an unfiltered dose of Jesus according to Matthew’s Gospel.
One person, a first-time visitor who reluctantly grasped my hand after worship, told me that he’d never come back to this church. How dare I use Easter to make divorced people feel guilty!
. . . and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery . . .
It wasn’t me! It was Jesus! I was only quoting verses 31 and 32 in good old chapter five of Matthew!
Please, blame Jesus! Continue reading →