Rev. Brian Johnson

Scripture: Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; Matthew 5:38-48

Matthew 5 starts with one of the most beloved sequences of Jesus’ ministry: the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes that come from this scene are revered by faithful people around the world. But later in this chapter, Jesus says something far more troubling. When considering retaliation, getting back on someone who has done you wrong, Jesus overturns the principle of “an eye for an eye” and instead says that if someone strikes you, you should turn the other cheek, allowing that person to strike you again. This Sunday we will talk about how this is both a subversive suggestion by Jesus that challenges power dynamics as well as an invitation to diffuse anger and struggle into something a little more holy.

This Week: When you find yourself in a moment of anger this week, take a deep breath, step back, and don’t respond with more anger – respond instead with love.

Think of someone with whom you don’t have a great relationship, and reach out to offer them love (maybe make them cookies, or write them a handwritten note, or something).