Why do husbands and wives declare their intimate love for each other on Facebook?

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3.1.14         Epiphany- Day 54

Psalm 144:5-11 (NLT)

Open the heavens, LORD, and come down.
Touch the mountains so they billow smoke.
Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies!
Shoot your arrows and confuse them!
Reach down from heaven and rescue me;
rescue me from deep waters,
from the power of my enemies.
Their mouths are full of lies;
they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.

 I will sing a new song to you, O God!
I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp.
For you grant victory to kings!
You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword.
Save me!
Rescue me from the power of my enemies.
Their mouths are full of lies;
they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.

Matthew 6:1-6 (NRSV)

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

CONSIDER THIS. .

Something we must keep in mind when we are reading the Sermon on the Mount is who it is giving the sermon. Jesus? Yes. But let’s remember who Jesus is. He is God. Jesus is the eternal Son of God, “begotten- not made,” born of the Virgin Mary, the second person of the Trinity, the image of the invisible God, the exact representation of God in human flesh. It is so easy to go to sleep at the wheel when it comes to the core fundamentals of our faith. Jesus is God. Say that aloud a few times just so your ears can hear it.

In this text, God himself is teaching us how faith works, and how it doesn’t. It brings to mind an illuminating  text from another sermon, in the form of the letter to the Hebrews. ” And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (1:6)

Hiddenness clarifies and crystallizes faith. The broken nature of the human person is so subtly deceptive that I am able to take what is intended to be a personal, humble act of love and turn it into a public performance of prideful self aggrandizement– and have no idea that’s what I just did. I will so easily and readily exchange a close walk with God for the admiration of people. (I think it masks the absence of faith)

The practice of secret goodness crucifies pride while it crystallizes faith. In secretly giving to someone in need I forfeit the admiration of others in the interest of protecting the dignity of the one in need. Even more significant, the one to whom I am giving, as far as I am concerned, stands in the very place of God himself. I can now glimpse the holiness of the person rather than their helplessness. Further, the person in need has now encountered a human being standing in the very place of God himself and offering love rather than pity. What was that he was saying about a reward? ;0)

We could talk about prayer, but we are out of time. Just take God’s word for it— somewhere along the way today, go into a room by yourself, close the door and start talking to God out loud. This is how the hidden muscle of love builds itself up.

It puzzles me. What’s really going on with all those people who tell their husbands and wives how much they love each other on Facebook. Think about that.

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