CAPC Oakland

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Blogging Towards Sunday, September 8, 2013

Questions for going deeper with the Scriptures

Matthew 5:1-16, 33-37

 Yes and No Photo

The question posed for this morning is about commitment.  What does it mean to say yes as a Christian?  How do we fail to keep our commitments to one another, and to the church, and to God?  How are we called to commit, despite – and with – our personal baggage, relational complexities, good or bad self-image, doubts, joys, fears and expectations?

The word COMMITMENT isn’t really in the Bible in this sense, except for when Jesus says to pick up your cross and to follow him, or to walk after him in “his way”.  It’s a literal and metaphorical invitation to a life of crucifixion, which ends and is renewed, in resurrection.  In Revelation God rejects the luke-warm, preferring a commitment, or choice for or against to a tepid, passive non-choice choice.

Our passage today comes from the Beatitudes and the long Jesus teaching often called the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-7:29.  Jesus begins by pointing a landscape of how God sees the world, of how God is making the world to become through grace-full diving judgment.  Jesus continues with how he sees humanity – all of us –  as lights of the world, salt of the earth: elements that can reflect light into the darkness, and which bring spice, add flavor, and sustain life.

 Jesus continues with many teachings, verses 33-37 are about oaths, and answers invitations to commitment.  Jesus says don’t swear or promise., invoking God as the guarantor of what you plan to, or hope to, or don’t intend to, do.  Rather respond how God responds to us.



  • How do you find commitment difficult?
  • How have you been hurt, or let down in Christian community involving commitment, or lack thereof?
  • How have people in the Bible committed to God?  Examples include: Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Mary Magdalene, Peter, and Mary?  How did God commit to them?

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This entry was posted on September 6, 2013 by in Grow and tagged .
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