Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Hearts of Flesh.

"I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  Ezekiel 36:26b (NRSV)

What does this mean?

What is a heart of stone?

A heart of stone is a heart that feels no love, a heart that has no compassion.
A heart so afraid that it cannot give.

And what is a heart of flesh?

A heart of flesh is a heart that is human-centered, a heart that values people above laws and morals.

Jesus said to obey the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law.
And the spirit of the law is love.

What was the first commandment?

"'"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."'"  Matthew 22:37 (NRSV)
"'And a second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."'"   Matthew 22:39 (NRSV)

What was Jesus' commandment?

"'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.'"  John 15:12 (NRSV)

Even Paul said that we should make concessions according to understanding.

So do not pride yourselves on obedience to rigid laws and morals.

This will lead to a heart of stone.

But learn to love and forgive.

And you will have a heart of flesh.

[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]  

Photo Credit: Patrick Hoesly via Compfight cc

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