31 July 2016

Love all creation

William Temple on the God's mission for the church

As Christ’s purpose was to found a Kingdom, so we should think of the Church as the army of that Kingdom. It is, no doubt, true that we have repeatedly substituted compromise for warfare and prudence for the spirit of adventure. The world in which the Church is set to work has, over and over again, made terms with it, which the Church of that period has most wrongly accepted. One of the commonest of the compromises that have been made is for the world to allow the Church to be at peace in proclaiming what may be called its philosophical paradoxes provided that it keeps quiet about its moral ones. And to some extent we have to confess that the Church, as we ourselves constitute it, has fallen into the snare. We have shown, no doubt, a disproportionate of concern about the distinctive philosophical doctrines of Christianity as compared with the moral duties of all disciples of Christ. We have, for example, been much more silent than we ought concerning Christ’s perfectly plain teaching on the subject of wealth and poverty. We have not driven home upon men His clear intuition that though, if wealth comes, it ought to be accepted and used as an opportunity, yet it must be recognized as rather a snare to the spiritual life than an aim which the Christian may legitimately set before himself and pursue. … 
An Army does not exist for its own benefit; it exists for its kingdom and its king; and you must come to the Church not chiefly for what you can gain from it, but for what you can give it. When you come like that, you will gain far more than if you come looking for gain. … Come to lend yourself as a member of the Body of Christ – one of His limbs, to be moved according to His will in cooperation with the other limbs in His Body. … 
And, remember, the supreme wonder of the history of the Christian Church is that always in the moments when it has seemed most dead, out of its own body there has sprung up new life; so that in age after age it has renewed itself, and age after age by its renewal has carried the world forward into new stages of progress, as it will do for us in our day, if only we give ourselves in devotion to its Lord and take our place in its service.

William Temple, Christian Faith and Life (pages 128-131)

30 July 2016

Be our companion in the way

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day
is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and
awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in
Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake
of your love. Amen. 

Be our companion in the way

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day
is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and
awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in
Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake
of your love. Amen. 

28 July 2016

Historically black church explores faith and justice in gentrified Washington, D.C.

Historically black church explores faith and justice in gentrified Washington, D.C.

[Episcopal News Service – Washington, D.C.] The decision to display a Black Lives Matter banner above the parish hall entrance did not come easily for the leadership of Calvary Episcopal Church, a historically black church with a reputation for social justice and action on the U.S. capital’s northeast side.
“Some folks have taken offense to it … and I think some people really appreciate it,” said the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell, Calvary’s rector, during a recent interview with Episcopal News Service. The decision was “contentious” and “not unanimous,” he said. “It’s also been an opportunity for conversation.”
It’s not uncommon for Calvary to engage in discussions that challenge the congregation and the community to think and to act with an intention toward justice.
Calvary has initiated conversations – contentious, difficult, provocative and otherwise – over the last two years in particular. Church leaders began talking in earnest after the police shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014 and decided to host a community-wide forum, “Ferguson: Could It Happen Here?” The forum brought together church and community members, and law enforcement officials.
“It was a peaceable back-and-forth, that Ferguson can happen here given the right circumstances,” said the Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart, Calvary’s associate rector, and a 20-year, now retired, veteran of the D.C. Metropolitan Police. “We know that 90 percent of all civil disorders in this country have the police at their nexus; it doesn’t mean that the police caused it, but that the police were somehow involved, and it could be something fairly simple that blows up.”
The Ferguson conversation led Fisher-Stewart, newly ordained a priest last November, to create the Center for the Study of Faith in Justice at Calvary with the help of a grant from the Episcopal Evangelism Society. The grant has allowed the church to host forums focused on themes related to community involvement, race and social justice: police in the community; the black church; and white spaces off limits to blacks, among others. The latter two were workshops facilitated by the Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, the author of “Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God.”
“We realized here at Calvary that we are a black congregation in a predominately white denomination and we’ve kinda had this split personality going,” said Fisher-Stewart, adding that Brown Douglas helped Calvary to redefine its call.
“The black church was formed because of injustice. And so if we pick up that mantle again to do justice, which we find in the mission of Christ when he read from the scroll of Isaiah (Luke 4:18) in the temple – it was about doing justice, it was about the least of these,” she said.
For example, the most recent forum focused on young black males, asking the question: Are they an endangered species?
“We had community organizers, activists, and psychologists, theologians, educators, to help us think about why young black males are endangered beyond the issue of policing, but also: What we are called to do to assist them in becoming the people God has called them to be?”
The “what” that God has called young black males to be is something of a focus for Brittany Livingston, a 26-year-old social worker who counsels primarily middle-school-aged African-American males at an all-boys parochial school.
“Most of our boys are young African-American males and it can be a challenge because I look at little brown faces every day and they often have real feelings about what’s going on,” said Livingston, adding that sometimes the violence and the overall situation makes her feel helpless. “But going in every day working with those little boys helps me. I’m working with them day-to-day and their lives matter day-to-day to me.”
Members and friends of Calvary Episcopal Church participated in a “Do Justice” silent march and prayer vigil for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives 40th annual conference in Washington, D.C., on July 20. The action was organized by the Center for the Study of Faith in Justice at Calvary. Photo: Lynette Wilson
Members and friends of Calvary Episcopal Church participated in a “Do Justice” silent march and prayer vigil for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives 40th annual conference in Washington, D.C., on July 20. The action was organized by the Center for the Study of Faith in Justice at Calvary. Photo: Lynette Wilson
2016 has left many people feeling helpless. July has been a deadly month, both for policemen and black men in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas. On Sunday, July 17, as members of Calvary left the church following the morning’s Eucharist, newsbroke of yet another deadly shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this time, a former Marine killed two policemen and a sheriff’s deputy. It was the “the juxtaposition of these deaths” that “forced the entire nation to stop and take notice,” as the Rev. Charles A. Wynder, a deacon and the Episcopal Church’s missioner for social justice and advocacy engagement, recently wrote in an essay for The Living Church.
Livingston, a lifelong member of Calvary, said having a place to come to talk about it helps.
“After every community forum or event that we do, something always comes out of it,” she said. “Whether it be someone coming up to you afterward and saying, ‘Hey, become a part of this mentoring program,’ or you see Rev. Gayle and my mom and the church going to protest somewhere, and then on Sundays we are praying about it, and Rev. Schell or Rev. Gayle will get up there and say something about it and so it kinda lifts that helpless feeling,” she said.
Livingston’s mother, Ellen Livingston, also a social worker and Calvary leader, has witnessed rhetoric around Black Lives Matter play out in the lives of the young people she works with as well. From the white adolescent girl from a mixed neighborhood whose peers are telling her, she doesn’t belong: “This young lady is trying to deal with something far greater than what she can imagine,” said Livingston. To the young black child who attends a predominantly white summer camp at a prestigious private school where he was targeted by white students: “ ‘So black lives matter,’ and he was being bullied, ‘your life doesn’t matter any more than mine, all our lives matter.’ ”
The Black Lives Matter movement, like the Center for the Study of Faith and Justice at Calvary, was born in 2013 out of tragedy, this time with the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch coordinator who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a gated community just north of Orlando, Florida. The movement grew out of the Twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, calling attention to police and vigilante violence against black Americans.
In making the decision to hang the “Black Lives Matter” banner, it came down to the church’s responsibility as a Christian congregation, said Jarrett-Schell.
“The Gospel declares that all lives matter, but in this moment right now we see in the eyes of the world and our society, not all lives matter equally and black lives are undervalued and that’s putting it mildly,” Jarrett-Schell said. “We as Christians if we truly believe that the Gospel brings good news for all people, and we look and we see that there’s a group of people in our immediate neighborhood and our society, particularly black people, who are not being treated as children of God, the way they should be, then we have to bear witness to that specifically.”
Calvary’s matriarch, a woman described as making space for everyone, initially opposed the Black Lives Matter banner out of concern for what people coming to the church would think. But after walking beneath it a few times, Jarrett-Schell said, she realized the banner says that her life matters and that if someone disagrees they don’t need to come to the church.
The Black Lives Matter movement follows the Occupy movement, another grassroots movement that began in New York in 2011, seeking social and economic equality. Just as Occupy took laid bare the worldwide problem of social and economic inequality, Black Lives has brought racism into everyday conversation.
“When we look at the problem (racism) in national and international terms, it just seems too big for us to do anything,” said Jarrett-Schell, when asked if some of the most significant change happens at the community level. “And when we look at history, these big turning points, these moments when the arc of history has actually bent toward justice, the apex moment, but we ignore the fact that there has always been years and years of grassroots community work that actually made the big national moment possible.”
An already tense presidential election has been made more tense as race relations linger in American’s minds; support for Black Lives Matter, an often-misunderstood movement, runs the spectrum. Yet violence against black Americans is nothing new. Nonblack Americans first saw it broadcast in their living rooms with the beating of Rodney King at the hands of Los Angeles police officers in 1991; it dominated the social commentary in the lyrics of early hip hop music. Smartphones equipped with video cameras have upped the frequency in which police violence has been documented and shared publicly.
The Los Angeles police chief called King’s beating an aberration, but the black community and law enforcement officials knew better.
“[We said] ‘the aberration’ was that it was caught on film because it happens every day in America,” said Fisher-Stewart, it’s just now that everyone has cell phones. “Now anyone can take out their phone and record what has been going on forever in terms of policing in America.
“The crisis has always been there; it’s ever-present now with technology.”
Calvary Episcopal Church hosted an exhibit of 200 T-shirts bearing the name, date of birth and date of death of victims of violence crime in the D.C.-metropolitan area. The exhibit, organized by Heeding God’s Call, called on visitors to pray for each individual who had died. Photo: Gayle Fisher-Stewart
Calvary Episcopal Church hosted an exhibit of 200 T-shirts bearing the name, date of birth and date of death of victims of violence crime in the D.C.-metropolitan area. Photo: Gayle Fisher-Stewart
Long before the church decided to display the Black Lives Matter banner, they hosted an exhibit of more than 200 T-shirts bearing the name, date of birth and date of death of victims of violence crime in the D.C.-metropolitan area. The exhibit, organized byHeeding God’s Call, called on visitors to pray for each individual who had died. The church now is working on a new conversation series, ranging from youth and engaging with the police force to education beyond high school, entrepreneurship and male-female relationships.
It’s impossible to have a conversation about police violence and black males without the conversation eventually turning to racism, both cultural and institutional, marginalization and economic inequality. Moreover, forums and the conversations at Calvary are taking place under the backdrop of gentrification.
“We are a commuter church, our community is beginning to look nothing like it did when we were kids,” said Ellen Livingston, who grew up a 10- to 15-minute walk from the church and later moved to the suburbs. “This (church) was a community center at one time, and our community is changing, and the gentrification and the isolation and the marginalization of those who are black and have remained in the city, so we want to provide support for them, as well.”
Calvary Episcopal Church, a historically black church in Washington, D.C., is located on the city’s northeast side, which has become gentrified. Just down the block, at the corner of H Street and Sixth Street NE, Apollo Apartments, anchored by a Whole Foods Market, is under construction on the former site of the historic Apollo Theater. Photo: Lynette Wilson
Calvary Episcopal Church, a historically black church in Washington, D.C., is located on the city’s gentrified northeast side. Just down the block, at the corner of H Street and Sixth Street NE, Apollo Apartments, anchored by a Whole Foods Market, is under construction on the former site of the historic Apollo Theater. Photo: Lynette Wilson
Located one block off H Street, once the commercial heart of black Washington, D.C., a street that burned during the violent protests that followed the assassination of the Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, the church, established as a mission church in a storefront in 1901, now is faced with holding tight to its identity in a gentrified, rapidly changing neighborhood. Once referred to as the “Chocolate City,” the nation’s capital has gone from having a 70 percent African-American majority a generation ago to less than 50 percent black today.
“H Street was predominantly black, it was like the downtown for black folks, and it burned, the riots, it burned, just like some portions of Seventh Street, U Street burned, portions of it, the black areas of the city, were the ones that burned, and so it has taken a while for them to totally come back, and as they’ve come back, they’ve come back gentrified,” said Fisher-Stewart.
“We are like many of the historically black congregations in D.C. that are surrounded by people who don’t look like us, but we still need to reach out and spread the Gospel to them.”
The community’s gentrification is beginning to change the church’s mission. Every third Thursday of the month Calvary hosts a meeting to talk about community changes, such as a massive apartment building anchored by a Whole Foods Market under construction on the corner of northeast Sixth and H streets in what used to be the site the historic Apollo Theater. Other changes are less obvious to newcomers and visitors.
“I was driving in this morning – I was coming out West Virginia Avenue by Gallaudet University – and I noticed on the west side of the street where there used to be no sidewalk, just a pathway, there’s now a sidewalk there … that’s where I used to live, I used to live off West Virginia Avenue – there was never any sidewalk on that side of the street. You couldn’t walk on that side of the street unless you walked out in the street but now there’s a sidewalk there – and that’s 50 years,” said Kevin Douglas, a longtime member who grew up within walking distance of the church.
There’s no shortage of churches in the immediate neighborhood, nearby a tiny Christian storefront church on H Street identified only with a cross is surrounded by restaurants, juice bars, yoga studios and a boutique selling pet supplies. Calvary’s congregation skews older and female; the vibrant youth group, one of the largest African-American church youth groups in the city, of Brittany Livingston’s childhood, is long gone.
“As much as many of our members have moved away, all of our members have a great affection for this neighborhood, even as it is changing rapidly,” said Jarrett-Schell, who in 2012 became the church’s first white rector. “We are looking to be a congregation that shares the Good News of Christ in this particular place and in this particular neighborhood.
“We do have a lot of new families moving in and that is really complicated for Calvary … there’s opportunity there, but there is also a great deal of loss, displacement going on. So when we say share the Good News, obviously we are talking in spiritual and temporal terms, there’s a message of hope that the Gospel offers and we want the people in the neighborhood to hear it. There are expectations and social responsibilities that hope; we want the people of this neighborhood to hear about that as well, and we want Calvary to be a place that shares that.”
– Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for Episcopal News Service. 

Seek meaning

When we live superficially … we are always outside ourselves, never quite ‘with’ ourselves, always divided and pulled in many directions … we find ourselves doing many things that we do not really want to do, saying things we do not really mean, needing things we do not really need, exhausting ourselves for what we secretly realize to be worthless and without meaning in our lives.

—Thomas Merton

From Parabola Magazine

"Photograph by Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton. In his twenty-seventh year at Gethsemani Monastery, wrote to his friend novelist John Howard Griffin, in 1968, shortly after he received the gift of a camera: “It is fabulous. What a joy of a thing to work with.The camera is the most eager and helpful of all beings, all full of happy suggestions. Reminding me of things I have overlooked and cooperating in the creation of new worlds. So Simply. This is a Zen camera.”

27 July 2016

Guide us waking

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace. Amen

Guide us waking

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace. Amen

23 July 2016

Episcopal Church celebrates Bishop Browning’s life, bids him farewell

Episcopal Church celebrates Bishop Browning’s life, bids him farewell

Hundreds gathered to pay tribute to the 24th Presiding Bishop Edmond Lee Browning at a July 19 memorial service in Portland, Oregon. Photo: Frank DeSantis, Diocese of Oregon
[Episcopal Diocese of Oregon] The Episcopal Church bid farewell to Bishop Edmond Lee Browning, the church’s 24th presiding bishop, on July 19 at Trinity Cathedral in Portland, Oregon.
The Rt. Rev. Edmond Lee Browning
Browning died on July 11 at the age of 87. He lived in Hood River, Oregon.
A funeral liturgy was held July 17 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Hood River, and another service is planned at Cathedral of St. Andrew in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Leaders in the Episcopal Church traveled from around the country to join in celebration of a life that brought profound change to the church and the world. The Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold, 25th presiding bishop, delivered the homily. Griswold described Browning’s death day as his “birth day” – into eternity. The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, 26th presiding bishop, led the post-communion prayer. Current Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry closed the service with a resounding blessing of the people.
24th Presiding Bishop Edmond Lee Browning’s three successors pose for a photo following his memorial service July 19 in Portland, Oregon. From left are 26th Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, 27th Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and 25th Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold. Photo: Frank DeSantis, Diocese of Oregon
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, current president of the church’s House of Deputies, and Bonnie Anderson, her predecessor, also participated in the service.
The Rev. Curtis Almquist, SSJE, described Browning in terms of the kindness, joy and humility he brought to every task.
The Rev. Brian Grieves, a colleague of Browning’s, read a statement from Cape Town Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. “Whether he was advocating for women, lay people, people of color or gays and lesbians and others to be fully included in the life of the church, he became a conscience for justice that you are still building on now,” Tutu said.  “Keep on with the journey.  And should you forget, Patti (Browning’s wife) will remind you.”
Browning visited South Africa “during our darkest days and gave us encouragement and hope,” he said. “He fiercely challenged U.S. politicians and corporations to bring an end to the evil of apartheid.”
Tutu recalled that Browning also stood against “another apartheid – the injustice of the occupation of 4 million Palestinians.”
To the remembrances of colleagues were added that of Browning’s oldest son, the Hon. R. Mark Browning, judge of the first circuit court of Oahu, Hawaii. He recounted his own upbringing and the role of his strong mother, Patti Browning, in opening their home and table to all. His parents’ marriage was a “magnificent love story,” he said. The couple raised five children during a career that included time in Okinawa, Texas, Hawaii and Europe. The Browning grandchildren led the congregation in prayer.
Browning leaves a legacy of opening the church, making it a place where “there will be no outcasts,” in his words. Known for taking theologically liberal stances, he fought institutional racism and other forms of injustice. Browning worked for full inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church. He had a place in other important milestones. For example, in 1989 he consecrated the Rev. Barbara Harris of the Diocese of Massachusetts as the first female bishop in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion.
Browning was ordained as a deacon on July 2, 1954, and as a priest on May 23, 1955. He was the 6th bishop of Hawaii and was elected presiding bishop at the 68th General Convention in Anaheim, California, in September 1985 and served for 12 years.
The service for Browning gave those in attendance a sense of his deep love for family, his open heart, and his unflagging struggle for justice and inclusion. At his installation sermon in 1986, he invoked the spirit of activism and hope: “Let us live out a mission that seeks to rescue the world from its present peril, to save those drowning in a raging river of despair, to rescue those caught in a wasteland of hopelessness. Let us commit ourselves to give the waters of baptism to those who thirst for justice.”
Previous ENS coverage of Browning’s death and the other tributes made to him can be found here.

22 July 2016

The Rev. Peter M. Carey

A few years ago when I was serving in Charlottesville

Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5-7New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Beatitudes

When Jesus[a] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely[b] on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

The Law and the Prophets

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter,[c] not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks[d] one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Concerning Anger

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister,[e] you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult[f] a brother or sister,[g] you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell[h] of fire. 23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister[i] has something against you,24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister,[j] and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court[k] with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Concerning Adultery

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.[l] 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.[m]

Concerning Divorce

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Concerning Oaths

33 “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.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.37 Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.[n]

Concerning Retaliation

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters,[o] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Concerning Almsgiving

“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.[p]

Concerning Prayer

“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.[q]
“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name.
10     Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.
11     Give us this day our daily bread.[r]
12     And forgive us our debts,
        as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13     And do not bring us to the time of trial,[s]
        but rescue us from the evil one.[t]
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Concerning Fasting

16 “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.[u]

Concerning Treasures

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[v]consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust[w] consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Sound Eye

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; 23 but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Serving Two Masters

24 “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.[x]

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,[y] or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[z] 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God[aa] and his[ab] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Judging Others

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s[ac] eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor,[ad] ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s[ae] eye.

Profaning the Holy

“Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.

Ask, Search, Knock

“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

The Golden Rule

12 “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

The Narrow Gate

13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy[af] that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.

Concerning Self-Deception

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

Hearers and Doers

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”
28 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.


  1. Matthew 5:1 Gk he
  2. Matthew 5:11 Other ancient authorities lack falsely
  3. Matthew 5:18 Gk one iota
  4. Matthew 5:19 Or annuls
  5. Matthew 5:22 Gk a brother; other ancient authorities add without cause
  6. Matthew 5:22 Gk say Raca to (an obscure term of abuse)
  7. Matthew 5:22 Gk a brother
  8. Matthew 5:22 Gk Gehenna
  9. Matthew 5:23 Gk your brother
  10. Matthew 5:24 Gk your brother
  11. Matthew 5:25 Gk lacks to court
  12. Matthew 5:29 Gk Gehenna
  13. Matthew 5:30 Gk Gehenna
  14. Matthew 5:37 Or evil
  15. Matthew 5:47 Gk your brothers
  16. Matthew 6:4 Other ancient authorities add openly
  17. Matthew 6:6 Other ancient authorities add openly
  18. Matthew 6:11 Or our bread for tomorrow
  19. Matthew 6:13 Or us into temptation
  20. Matthew 6:13 Or from evil. Other ancient authorities add, in some form, For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen.
  21. Matthew 6:18 Other ancient authorities add openly
  22. Matthew 6:19 Gk eating
  23. Matthew 6:20 Gk eating
  24. Matthew 6:24 Gk mammon
  25. Matthew 6:25 Other ancient authorities lack or what you will drink
  26. Matthew 6:27 Or add one cubit to your height
  27. Matthew 6:33 Other ancient authorities lack of God
  28. Matthew 6:33 Or its
  29. Matthew 7:3 Gk brother’s
  30. Matthew 7:4 Gk brother
  31. Matthew 7:5 Gk brother’s
  32. Matthew 7:13 Other ancient authorities read for the road is wide and easy
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.