Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:21-28
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’ –Matthew 16:21-23
Are we setting our minds not on divine things but human? How do we meld the divine and the human into one? My guess, if you are like me, we invest much of our time in very human ventures: eating, sleeping, working, etc. and all of the things that make those activities possible like buying groceries and maintaining a car and cleaning our houses. From where do we derive the values that drive those mundane activities?
I spent the morning gathering up my recycling to take to Goodwill Industries. The result is an amazing car full of plastic, paper, aluminum, cardboard, and glass. I now wonder how many years worth of that stuff, I once tossed in the trash, is in a landfill somewhere and will be for generations to come. God charged us with taking care of the earth in the first book of the Bible.
What we do in every aspect of our lives impacts others. People living on coastlines routinely measure how much of their land is lost to rising waters every year. Just as we cannot separate our humanity from our divinity, we cannot separate our individuality from our interdependence on one another. God’s call to love one another is not just a pleasant platitude. It is the foundation of our existence.
Prayer: God of all Creation, forgive us when we separate ourselves into self-serving compartments of divine and human. Help us realize our responsibilities to ourselves are also responsibilities to all your creation. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.