Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 27: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 34; Evening, Psalm 85 and 86;
1st Maccabees 1:1 to 28; Rev elation 19:1 to 10; Matthew 16:1-12:
“Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees:” (Matthew 16:12)
Teaching is one of the responsibilities I think we Christians are called to do for the benefit of all believers. Perhaps the worst kind of teaching is telling people what to think. This is the shame of some self-promoting politicians who want people to buy into their personal success. It is also the method used in business to have the weak minded to fall in line with policies that only work to line the pockets of the already rich. And, lastly, preachers are not above the fray. Like the Pharisees and Sadducees, self-serving preachers from all walks of faith attempt to have their listeners believe in the way that profits the prophet. Our Lord Jesus taught against this kind to teaching.
I believe we teachers and preachers are to teach people “how” to think, not “what” to think. The seed, or yeast, of God is already planted in each of us. The true teacher and preacher should guide the listener to use his or her own God-given reasoning power to sort out the truth in prayer, listening to what the Holy Spirit of God is saying to us.
Our Church has Scripture, Tradition and Reason, according to Richard Hooker (1600). Let us not underestimate Reason. We don’t check our brains at the door of the Church on our way in. God has given us the ability to think and to verbally communicate with other believers in order that we might come to sound teaching and the loving understanding of God’s desire for us. Let us let the loving leaven of God lead us into all truth.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John