February 25, 2021

The Gospel

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
 

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

 

Matthew 7:7–12 (LectionaryPage.net)

The Offering

From Zach Price
An arena-sized church building filled with people attending a worship service.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

 

I’ve always been weary of this passage. It bothers me mostly because of my aversion to prosperity gospel. I don’t believe that God is some magical wish faerie who grants your desires if you just believe enough or are good enough. Nothing you do can ever make God love you less, but also the inverse in that nothing you do will make God love you more. Prosperity gospel implies that you will be blessed for your faith, but also implies the inverse that if you are poor or suffering then your faith is not good enough. That is not a god I can believe in. Perhaps it is akin to JFKs famous words “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” That is to say it’s not about what God can do for you, but that you put your trust in God. It’s easier said than done, because to put your trust in something or someone means admitting our own lack of control of circumstances. I’ve found that when I can do that it is counter-intuitively liberating.

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