This week’s Gospel presents a different way of thinking about who is worthy of God’s Realm. Jesus tells us that it’s what we do to others that matters, not what we’ve attained for ourselves. He even points out that we can get the same reward as someone who is a prophet or has lived a righteous life simply by being in relationship to them. The same reward! That’s not how the society we actually live in functions.
We, more often than not, imagine that a persons worth has to do with what they have accomplished in their lives, in the honors and accolades that they collected. The idea that someone should get the same reward from God simply through a chance meeting with someone who has striven their whole life to live according to God’s will is, well frankly, scandalous to us. I don’t know that it would bother the righteous particularly… I think they’d be delighted to have been the cause of someone else’s good fortune. They aren’t having their reward taken away – God’s economy is not based on a zero-sum game.
And we can see this at work particularly in baptism and in the baptismal covenant we make with each other. All it requires, to live in the community of the Church is a profession of faith in Jesus and rejection of those who rebel against him. Do that and you’re in – along with the rest of us. And there’s no second baptism to show that you’re now a first class Christian. It’s just the one, and it’s just all of us together in one big unruly, occasionally noisy and disorderly family.
The direct link to this week’s sermon is found here.