Links for the Weekend (2023-09-01)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

The Sermon on the Mount Is Not an Impossible Standard to Make Us Feel Bad

Sometimes a fresh look at a familiar text is just what we need. The Sermon on the Mount has been misused by many Christians as merely a way to feel guilty. But that’s too shallow a view of this sermon!

The comfort, however, is the truth that our triune God never leaves us. Though we are intent to destroy ourselves and everything around us, he is faithful to keep moving history toward redemption. When he makes a covenant, he keeps it. When we break the covenant, he still keeps it. Though he may feel distant at times, we know he has never left us—Pentecost is proof. Every promise of God has come true, and the Holy Spirit brings the triune God’s comforting presence into our hearts, come what may.

No Fear of Old Age

Tim Challies writes about getting older as living the last part of a story.

Yet these years are also precious in the eyes of God and are meant to be embraced rather than dreaded or denied. Old age is the final part of God’s plan for us before we depart earth for heaven. It is the closing chapter of a story. It is the culmination of a tale that has been told since birth. And why should we fear the ending of a story? Why should we despise the fact that a story begun must also end? Should we not anticipate it as the beautiful final act? Should we not determine to close the story in a way that is beautiful and admirable and honoring to God? 

I’ve been nice, but now I am ready to be kind.

Here’s a creative reflection on the distinction between niceness and kindness.

Almost any thesaurus will list “nice” as a substitute for “kind.” But I’ve always thought of kindness as a thing with teeth. And a spine. The toned arms of goodness. Something that grips, holds on when things get tough, does the right thing, says the right thing, even when others disagree. Kindness cares, not just about feelings but about the ultimate good.

Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

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Ryan Higginbottom
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