Collect of the Day:
Almighty Father, let your light soak deeply into our minds.
Stepping forward in the light of your commandments,
may we follow you always, our leader and our guide.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
2 Kings 11:1-20
11:1 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal. cb(11,2); 11:2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were slain, even him and his nurse, and put them in the bedroom; and they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not slain; cb(11,3); 11:3 He was with her hidden in the house of Yahweh six years. Athaliah reigned over the land. cb(11,4); 11:4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the captains over hundreds of the Carites and of the guard, and brought them to him into the house of Yahweh; and he made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of Yahweh, and showed them the king’s son. cb(11,5); 11:5 He commanded them, saying, “This is the thing that you shall do: a third part of you, who come in on the Sabbath, shall be keepers of the watch of the king’s house; cb(11,6); 11:6 A third part shall be at the gate Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard. So you shall keep the watch of the house, and be a barrier. cb(11,7); 11:7 The two companies of you, even all who go out on the Sabbath, shall keep the watch of the house of Yahweh around the king. cb(11,8); 11:8 You shall surround the king, every man with his weapons in his hand; and he who comes within the ranks, let him be slain. Be with the king when he goes out, and when he comes in.”cb(11,9);
11:9 The captains over hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded; and they took every man his men, those who were to come in on the Sabbath, with those who were to go out on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. cb(11,10); 11:10 The priest delivered to the captains over hundreds the spears and shields that had been king David’s, which were in the house of Yahweh. cb(11,11); 11:11 The guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, around the king. cb(11,12); 11:12 Then he brought out the king’s son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, “Long live the king!”cb(11,13);
11:13 When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the house of Yahweh: cb(11,14); 11:14 and she looked, and behold, the king stood by the pillar, as the tradition was, and the captains and the trumpets by the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and cried, “Treason! Treason!”cb(11,15);
11:15 Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks. Kill him who follows her with the sword.” For the priest said, “Don’t let her be slain in the house of Yahweh.” cb(11,16); 11:16 So they made way for her; and she went by the way of the horses’ entry to the king’s house. She was slain there. cb(11,17); 11:17 Jehoiada made a covenant between Yahweh and the king and the people, that they should be Yahweh’s people; between the king also and the people. cb(11,18); 11:18 All the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and broke it down; his altars and his images broke they in pieces thoroughly, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. The priest appointed officers over the house of Yahweh. cb(11,19); 11:19 He took the captains over hundreds, and the Carites, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of Yahweh, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king’s house. He sat on the throne of the kings. cb(11,20); 11:20 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. Athaliah they had slain with the sword at the king’s house.
The Gospel: Matthew 6:19-23
6:19 “Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; cj(6,20); 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal; cj(6,21); 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
cj(6,22); 6:22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light. cj(6,23); 6:23 But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Today in the Gospel Jesus tells us that the lamp of the body is the eye, if our eye is sound our body will be full of light, but if our eye is evil our body will be full of darkness. How does this affect us as modern Christians? Actually quite a lot. There is so much to take in with our senses these days with computers, internet, television, ipods, video phones etc that it almost can become a full time job keeping our eye sound.
Keeping our eyes sound is a very important part of being a committed Christian. If we are what we eat as the old saying goes, then our moral compass can be said to be formed on what we feed our minds through our viewing and reading habits. Is the time spent following worldly pursuits inline with developing our spiritual growth?
I had an old teacher who once told me that we become what we associate with, and in life I have found this to be a true adage, so if we spend our free time only watching violent movies, or sitcoms that promote sex as a sport that is to be partaken of just for self pleasure, instead of being an expression of love between two consenting adults, how can we expect our moral compasses to function in a correct capacity.
A case in point is a very popular sitcom ‘Two and a half Men’ starring Charlie Sheen a womanising jingle writer that discards women quicker than most people do tissues. In this show women are shown as a commodity solely to please the sex drive of men, and that a mans real worth is shown in how many ladies he has conquested. The womanising Charlie is portrayed as a hero but his more moral brother Alan comes off as a hapless fool.
Now this show is quite amusing, and I have found portions extremely amusing, but that is the precise danger. Often people equate amusing with harmless, I wonder how many young children’s minds are being corrupted with this warped form of a worldview on women, when Charlie is promoted as the cooler man to emulate? This is especially pertinent with so many single parent homes where there may be no real male role model for the children to copy.
So take the time to guard your eyes and those of your loved ones, for it may save heartache in the future.