Today’s Reading - Matthew 6:1-34
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and the world.” - Matthew 6:24
Choices are hard. Not all choices but some. When the choice is fully accepting one thing and rejecting another thing the choice is hard. Our human nature is to hold hands with both. We don’t want to create hard feelings. On the surface choosing between serving God and serving the world seems pretty easy until we start considering the who and what of the world. Then it becomes a little more difficult. In this verse is a parable without being called a parable. In the context of the first century slavery was very common and accepted. Don’t get confused with slavery as we know it. Slaves were considered children, members of the family. I digressed. Jesus is using slavery to illustrate you can only be loyal, love, fully follow one master. If a slave were to try to do both it would end in great difficulty. This parable causes us to decide who or what is the lord of our life. A slave trying to serve two masters would have to listen and follow two different unconnected people with two different agendas. We are tempted to listen to the voices of the world in order to feel accepted or act in ways which appear right to the majority. When Jesus said you cannot serve both, He meant it was virtually impossible. Remember the first words Jesus spoke in this sermon we are in the middle of. He stated very clearly that there will be rejection because of our belief. We listen to God and God alone as the Lord of our life which means we will have to make some hard choices of saying yes to one thing and no to another. Trying to hold hands with God and the world and please both will only create an impure vessel. We are becoming a holy vessel.
Heavenly Father, we confess we have listened to the world trying to tell us what is right and wrong, what is acceptable and what is not. Forgive us for trying to appease the world and follow You at the same time. May our love, our loyalty, our full commitment lie in the heavenlies with You and your Son. Make clear your voice in our heart and mind. Give us courage to reject the unhealthy voices of this world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.