Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 5th November (Ordinary 31)

Psalm 43; Micah 3 : 5 – 12; 1 Thessalonians 2 : 9 – 13; Matthew 23 : 1 – 12 by Local Preacher, Alison Smith (St. Andrew’s).

In all our readings today, we hear about people not putting into practice the things they were telling others to do. Often, we try to do this ourselves, especially with our children. We are in the habit perhaps of interrupting others when they’re speaking. We soon give our children what for if they interrupt us, especially if we’re trying to tell them off for something.

How good are we at following our own advice? How often is it a case of ‘do as I say and not as the Lord told Micah to chastise the religious men who were supposed to be guiding and leading the people in the way of the law. They were telling them one thing and doing another; proclaiming peace but if they weren’t peaceful, they’d wage war against them.

One day God would not be there for them, He wouldn’t answer their call and so they’d be disgraced, ashamed and in darkness. Micah then goes on to say, he was filled with the Spirit of God and had the right to call the prophets to account on God’s behalf. He said the leaders and rulers despised justice and distorted everything.

He then went on to outline everything they had done wrong, corrupted and destroyed by taking bribes, charging for their teaching and worst of all, charging the people for telling fortunes! Treating God like a circus side stall act.

He said that because of them, ‘Zion would be ploughed like a field and Jerusalem would become a heap of rubble, with the temple mound being covered and overgrown with weeds, creepers and bushes.’ (Micah 3 : 12)

What does this say to us today? We should be careful when we take on the responsibility of teaching others. Know what the basis of the subject is, and what it’s telling us. For Christians, its know your Bible. Know the Word of God and that His underlying word for all of us is – love.

If we love, then everything comes from that, we’ll want to do the best for God, and for each other. We will treat everyone fairly and justly, preferring peace over war and understanding over revenge.

What is God’s greatest commandment? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22 : 38 – 39).

I do. The Lord told Micah to chastise the religious men who were supposed to be guiding and leading the people in the way of the law. They were telling them one thing and doing another; proclaiming peace but if they weren’t peaceful, they’d wage war against them. One day God would not be there for them, He wouldn’t answer their call and so they’d be disgraced, ashamed and in darkness. Micah then goes on to say, he was filled with the Spirit of God and had the right to call the prophets to account on God’s behalf. He said the leaders and rulers despised justice and distorted everything.