By Sarah Cornwell
A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew 10:24-33
24 ”A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!
26 ” So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
32 ”Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.”
In today’s Gospel from St. Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples, “What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.” Given how we live our lives today, one might be forgiven in thinking that Jesus had told his followers the opposite: “What I say to you in the light, tell in the dark; and what you hear proclaimed, whisper from the basement.”
Why are we so loath to do what Jesus asks of us and talk to others about his good news? Perhaps we don’t want to be seen as “those people,” the crazies who come up to you on the street and ask eagerly, “Can I talk to you about Jesus today?” Or those who walk around wearing a worn sandwich board that reads, “The End is coming. Repent!” Aren’t those people a bunch of weirdos? And besides, that kind of proclamation just turns people off to Jesus, right? Possibly, but we might say this for those “crazies”: at least they’re trying something, because the surest way not to share the gospel is not to share the gospel.
What Jesus has said to us, to you and to me, in the darkness of human history 2,000 years ago, is to be told in the light of today, October 13, 2021. What we hear Jesus whispering to us amidst all loud, distracting noise of today should be proclaimed clearly. We may differ on the most effective means of proclamation, but what’s certain is that we shouldn’t freeze on the rooftop and say nothing. If wearing a sandwich board or going up to strangers isn’t how you’re called to proclaim the gospel, that’s all well and good, but it’s time to start asking how each of us is called to proclaim, and start searching for our rooftop.
Sarah Cornwell is a laywoman and an associate of the Eastern Province of the Community of St. Mary. She and her husband have six children and they live in the Hudson Valley north of New York City.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
The Diocese of Gitega (Anglican Church of Burundi)
Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Louisville, Ky.