Sermon summaries and audio files
Eckardtesian Thought: I think, therefore I write . . .
The righteousness of the Pharisees was beautiful to behold. It was meant to be. No doubt why they chose the best seats, the front of the synagogues, and their phylacteries in full view. And why they had tribunals set up in some 23 cities, where the judgment was seated, sentencing sinners. A murderer was to be beheaded. And if a crime more egregious was committed, say, a murder in a worse degree, the Sanhedrin would order death by stoning. And if, as in a rare occasion, something unthinkable was committed, that criminal would be sent to Gehenna, a valley in Jerusalem, where he was burned alive. All, presumably, to promoted righteousness. Yet it was not enough. And Jesus here turns it on its head, threatening a worse punishment for even sins of thought and speech. But what righteousness is enough? Who can say? Yet we know that the righteousness of God is perfect and pure. So the Gospel is this, that Jesus came to earth bringing that righteousness in the flesh, that we may receive it through faith in him and his gifts. None other will do, which is why anyone who thinks otherwise cannot come to the altar. But, clothed in his righteousness alone, you are free and clear. Free, that is, to love and be kind to one another; not to gain favor from God, but because you already have gained it. Sermon for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity.