The Cost of Truthfulness and the Toll of Lies
SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
Prayer of the Day: O God, strength of all who hope in you, because we are weak mortals we accomplish nothing good without you. Help us to see and understand the things we ought to do, and give us grace and power to do them, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:33-37.
“The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a Senator-juror, I swore an oath, before God, to exercise “impartial justice.” I am a profoundly religious person. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the President, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.” Senator Mitt Romney of Utah explaining his decision to vote for the removal of President Donald Trump from office.
As I said last week, it is critical to remember that the Sermon on the Mount is not directed to the general public. It was not designed for personal application to “everyday life.” Nor is it a template for governance in a utopian society. The Sermon is directed to the disciples of Jesus. It describes the shape of a shared life of repentance, forgiveness and witness to a better way of being human. Within the Body of Christ, Paul instructs us to “put” away falsehood” and “let everyone speak the truth with their neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Ephesians 4:25. Truth is all that we should be speaking to one another. Every word that comes out of our mouths ought to be spoken as though in the presence of God-because it is. Oaths are therefore superfluous.
But the Body of Christ exists in a world where, to use the words of presidential adviser and personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, “truth isn’t truth.” Read more