Sermons on righteous
The opening lines of the movie Amadeus highlighting the genius of Mozart and the divine gift of his compositions, begins with words of an aged Antonio Salieri, speaking from a place of despair and ridicule, and reflecting on the first time he heard the beginning notes of Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 in B flat major — “On the page, it looked simple, nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse. Bassoons, Basset Horns. Like a rusty squeezebox. And then,…
What if the widow in the parable, the one who shows up every day pleading her case, who is persistent in her message and in her cries for justice – is actually God? What if God is the one who nags at our hearts, wanting to be let in; what if God is the one constantly yearning for us, longing for justice to be within our hearts, with justice meaning our desire to be just and right in our relationships with others and with God. What if God is the persistent one and we are the ones who close the case file before even giving the case a chance?
So, having been reminded of God’s love and mercy by a few heads of grain and stale presence bread, let us redouble our efforts to reach out to the broken hearted and the hard hearted in Jesus’ name. And if we are the ones whose hearts are closed, let us seek out help, here, at St. Andrew’s, today. After all, this is what we do— we follow the law of love— the most beautiful and gentle law of love.
For, by Matthew’s pairing the movement of the Holy Spirit with an event such as Jesus’ conception, which would easily be perceived as scandalous by outsiders, Matthew asserts the theological claim that Jesus was from the beginning and remained to the end, seen as a scandal in the eyes of our world. Jesus, the incarnation of amazing and transformational love breaking open the societal norms and conventions of the day, was a scandal. This is a very challenging message for most of us, when we realize that God breaks into our world through that which we or others often consider to be scandalous. We have been taught to dismiss, turn away from, and distance ourselves from anything scandalous, but here Matthew is telling us to look within the scandal to find the marvelous deeds of God.
We want there to be a seamlessness between God’s Word and our very being, and to do that, we need to sit with, study, and know with our heart, God’s Word.