It seems to me, that in this time of great social change and even upheaval, Jesus has some words to which we need to listen very carefully and seek to obey in our lives....
Jesus also told them a parable: "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, 'Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour's eye."Sometimes it is so much easier to pay attention to what we perceive to be the faults in others and in our society at large, than it is to deal with our own personal, individual issues. But Jesus suggests that when we give into this temptation we are really blind. Jesus wants us to open our eyes and pay attention to our own issues and our relationship with him. If we let him be our teacher, not just in word, but in deed, then we will become like him.
I like what Sacred Space had to say about this passage today....
- We like to guide and correct people. It gives us a bit of status. This means of course that we are quick to see the flaws in others. I wonder how much of our conversation is focussed on the failings of public figures and of those close to us.
- Jesus doesn’t deny that people have failings, but he invites me to look to my own blind spots first. If the just person falls seven times, how often do I fall? Jesus uses humour to make his point. He invites me to imagine how many people I would be hurting if I had a log attached to my eye!
- Lord, make me more aware of my inadequacies, so that I may become gentle in dealing with others.
In short, I think Jesus, in Luke 6, is recommending that we become spaces of grace for others rather than places of judgment and condemnation. I really appreciated this little story that I also read on Sacred Space today....
In the latter years of her life, in the backyard of her home in northern Florida, my grandmother had a porch swing. She liked to sit and swing and hum old church hymns such as “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me.” I can still see her there, wearing a white scarf over her head, a concession to chemotherapy’s unrelenting march. When as a young adult I visited her, she would always ask me to sit with her on the swing for a spell. She would pat my leg and call me “darlin’.”I wonder: who has been there in each of our lives to provide "a porch swing" for us to sit on for a while? Who is there in our lives for whom God wants us to provide a grace place today?
As long as my grandmother lived—and in spite of her pain—there was always a place for me on the swing. If I were asked to explain grace, I would paint the picture of my grandmother’s swing. There, I never had to deliberate or explain or worry, regardless of the weight I carried. The porch swing—my grandmother’s presence—bestowed grace without conditions.
- Excerpted from Sanctuary: Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life by Terry Hershey