Bringing the Text to Life

Cut It Out! Matthew 5:21-37

When Jesus said, "If your eye/hand offend you, cut it off," it was a vivid, metaphorical way of saying that we must STOP doing those things that harm us and others.

Despite dwindling natural resources, massive pollution, overpopulation and overconsumption, we still love our "throwaway" culture.

We toss away more and more styrofoam, paper and plastic with every passing day. Not only do we casually toss those things that are designed to be disposable - takeout food containers, diapers, coffee filters, vacuum-cleaner bags - we also prefer to throw away, rather than fix, increasing quantities of our fairly durable goods. It is just too much bother and trouble to try to repair them ourselves. When is the last time you took shoes to a cobbler to be resewn or resoled? Do you bother to re-web or revarnish outdoor furniture, or do you just run down to the discount store for new, cheap lawn chairs?

But for all those things we are happy to toss away, replace or renew, there is one familiar thing we are absolutely loathe to part with - our own old habits, behaviors and attitudes. We recycle and retool and return to the same old reactions, attitudes and...

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