The words we speak have sacred connections. There is a profound principle in place behind the law, “Don’t lie.” This is about having an integrity that is so deep that you don’t need to prop up your promises. The oaths Jesus mentions go in the same category as, “I promise I’m telling the truth …” and “I swear on my mother’s grave …”
Jesus calls us to live such a truthful life that everyone who interacts with us knows that the smallest word from us will be the truth, whether it’s “Yes” or “No.” Any further need to embellish reveals the insecurity we feel because we are not always truthful.
Imagine how alive you would feel if you trusted your friends and family to always be truthful with you. Imagine how alive you would feel if you knew that you could trust yourself to be always truthful. This kind of truthfulness changes us and the people around us. In our culture you have to be big and loud and work hard to convince people. A simple yes or no, with no additional need to justify yourself or reassure the other person, would be a powerful witness in a world that thrives on exaggerations, half-truths, and fake news. A life of integrity is also a life without fear. It demonstrates that we are not afraid of the truth, but that we really believe that the truth will make us free. Lent is an invitation to let go of all pretense and live in the light of God’s truth.
God who is Truth, open our eyes to recognize the lies that surround us. Give us the courage we need to live with integrity, knowing who we are and whose we are. Your grace and love for all the world are truth and life to us. Help us to experience them and share them. Amen
Rev. Beth Gedert is the pastor of Zion United Church of Christ, an Open and Affirming church seeking to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God in Delaware, Ohio.
©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity. Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is. Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book. The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author.