Clearing our eyes and opening our hearts – Eastertide Reflection 32

By Rev Canon Heather Murray

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Our reflection this morning is taken from Luke, Chapter 6, verses 39 to the end.

Jesus has appointed from his followers, 12 of them to be Apostles. After he spends the night on the mountain in prayer, he returns to the lowland where the crowd has gathered. He then stands among them and preaches what is known by some as the Sermon on the Plain.

We enter at the point where he issues to those who want to be his true disciples – his followers – a warning. A warning that they are not to be judgemental of others. Jesus does this in a fun way. He seems to use humour as he does so, during which he gives them three rapid-fire parables –

  • the first about removing the log and speck from the eyes
  • the second about a tree and the quality of fruit it bears
  • and the third about weak and firm foundations.

When Jesus is teaching his followers here, I don’t think he is doing so with a moralistic tone but rather, with an over-riding concern of love, a non-judgmental attitude, a life of integrity and a total response to Jesus’ call. In other words, he wants his followers to model their attitudes and behaviours on his.

My dad was a brilliant role model! I can remember when I was younger him telling me it was rude to point. He said, “remember when you are pointing a finger at someone else there are three other fingers pointing back to you. This image has never left me.

What Jesus is doing, I think in his parables is telling the disciples, don’t point your finger at anyone, the chances are you are three times more likely to be as guilty – if not more guilty of something than they are. Unless you move that bigger log from your own eye – you are never going to be able to help the other remove the tiny speck that is in theirs – it won’t be remotely possible and worse still you might lead the other to fall into the pit with you. If we recognise we might have a log in our eye now and then – and we seek to remove that first – we will be able to see much more clearly.

In clearing our eyes and opening our hearts, in modelling our attitudes and behaviour on Jesus we have the chance to learn from him – we could not wish for a better teacher. He teaches us the best lessons in life – what a gift! The Gospels are full of wonderful examples of Jesus’ love and care and compassion for others. And this is just what we need right now. There are many examples of love, compassion and selflessness in our communities at this time and we are invited and many have taken up the invitation to join in where they can.

We are a work in progress (and for me at least) to be able to accept that is comforting and reassuring. Jesus invites us to new life in him. To life which bears good fruit, a life in which we know we are loved, and a life in which we share love among all whom we encounter.

We can do this by modelling our own life on Jesus, by doing our best in following him and learning from him. He is the firm foundation on which to build our faith and follow. (Him).

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