Posts Tagged ‘Knowing your heart’

Where is Your Heart?

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Thursday After Ash Wednesday

Dt 30: 15-20; Luke 9: 22-25

Dc. Larry Brockman

Where is your heart?

When you break down Moses speech to the Israelite people, that was the essence of His speech to them.  Moses laid out a set of laws and precepts to live by that would assure the people would remain in God’s favor.  Then he tells them that each of them has a choice; and their society has a collective choice.  Either the people would listen to God’s plan for choosing life everlasting that Moses had set before them; in which case they would be blessed by God.    Or they would turn their hearts from God’s way allowing themselves to be led astray by the world, and by choosing other gods to worship; in which case, disaster would strike their nation.

The Old Testament is filled with cycles of obedience and disobedience; prosperity and disaster; and belief and disbelief as the Israelites wandered back and forth in their allegiance to the Lord.  In each of these cycles, we can see where the heart of the people was; and we can see whether their nation was blessed or not.

It comes down to that, you know.  It isn’t just your heart, or my heart that matters, but it is the collective allegiance of all of the people that determines prosperity or disaster for society.

And yet, Moses was talking to each person in that crowd.  And the Church uses Moses to talk to each of us this morning because Moses message applies to us as well.  We have the same choice as individuals today that each of the Israelites had in Moses time.  We are being asked where are hearts are this morning.

And Moses message was repeated in Luke’s Gospel in one of Jesus parables.  Remember the line “Where your treasure is, there is your heart”?  Jesus was talking about the same thing.  Wherever each individual’s priority is, that is where their heart is.  And if the hearts of the people collectively are focused on something other than God’s way, then that is a recipe for disaster for society as a whole.

The world has seen many cycles of faithfulness followed by lack of faith since Jesus birth, death, and resurrection; and so, whole nations have experienced rises and falls in their prosperity.  And it can all be traced to where the hearts of the people were.  Our nation seems to be wandering from a collective heart that favors the way of the Lord.  Woe to us for that.

But you know what?  The good news is that it doesn’t really matter to the individual.  Each of us has a choice; and our salvation doesn’t depend on what the rest of the people in our society do.  The health of our society depends on it, but not our individual salvation.  All that matters for you is where your heart is.

That’s where our Gospel comes in today.  Jesus boldly proclaims that he must suffer and die at the hands of evil men, men who have made another choice with their hearts; people whose society sanctions other gods and lack of faith and trust in God.  It was a shocker to his disciples that Jesus would have to suffer; it was inconceivable to them.  But he was showing them the way to salvation, as he is showing it to us this morning.

Each of us needs to follow Jesus example and live according to God’s law regardless of how the rest of society tries to undermine us.  We have to stand up for what we believe in our individual lives- to support respect life; to support real marriage and family values; to be generous and kind to the poor and disadvantaged; and a whole host of other ways of living the faith that is written in our hearts.   In the extreme, we may even have to suffer the backlash of the establishment as Jesus did, that’s what it means for us to take up our crosses and follow him.

Lent is a great time for all of us to ask the question.  Where is your heart?  Because where your heart is, that is where your future lies.