REFLECT – Day 27
How many people know that you are reading these devotions? Do you make it obvious to all your friends. It would show how holy and wonderful you are. But then again it might come across as pride and practising your piety before others.
Today we continue to explore a phrase in “The Beatitudes”. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ We are going to do this by reading Matthew 6:1-6 & 16-18.
To follow Jesus is to nurture your inner life in secret places and by hidden disciplines which no one knows but God. Perhaps that is a quiet time when you read your bible, or listening to a great devotional by your friendly local ordinand while driving in the car. Perhaps you use music to engage with God or love to sense His presence when walking the dogs in nature. All of these things are good practices to adopt, bring our faith to life and are part of our everyday discipleship.
However, there’s a great temptation to parade our piety before others whether in the money we give to the poor, or in your prayers or our fasting, or in any other mark of faith. Even if your not doing it now, perhaps you can remember a time when this was the case?
Our faith must be more real on the inside than it seems on the outside – not the other way round.
In the previous part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has already argued for a complete change in how his listeners deal with a range of issues: anger and lust, retaliation, and making promises. Our inner motives are as important as our actions.
There is a profound revolution here. Religion is not to be about outward acts or appearances, but begins and ends with the transformation of the heart.
Eternal light, shine into our hearts,
eternal goodness, deliver us from evil,
eternal power, be our support,
eternal wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance,
eternal pity, have mercy upon us…
Alcuin of York (804)
Review your disciplines of secret giving, secret prayer and secret fasting.