String of Pearls: Reflections on Matthew 10:24-39

Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered and nothing secret that will not become known (10:26). So as a result of this fact, we are to remember that evildoers' words and deeds will be revealed and judged in due time. And we are to be emboldened to speak God's good news boldly and without fear.

Even the hairs of your head are counted (10:30). Since God values us so highly, we can be assured God will vindicate us in the last days.

Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven, but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven (10:32). In light of this reality, we should choose to acknowledge Jesus and his kingdom now in all we say and do. And we should encourage others to do so as well in light of these high stakes.

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me (10:37). Given this truth Jesus speaks, we should love him above all and give him our highest loyalty.

Whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me (10:38). We should not shrink from inconvenience or sacrifice in service of God's kingdom.

Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it (10:39). We should give up our definition of the good life with the goal of personal success to find our true identity and purpose in Christ's service.

How would we describe the string or thread that holds these beads together? I think it's fearless confession of faith in Jesus in the world that, while risky, is well worth the sacrifice because it leads to the discovery of our true identity and purpose as individuals and as a church.

That's a reminder we will want to carry along with us as we meet difficult tests of our faith in our daily lives in the world.

Yesterday, I finally went to get my pearl necklace fixed. I was tired of seeing it lying in my dresser drawer, forlorn and forgotten. So I took it to "Fast Fix Jewelry," a repair shop at a local mall. Their motto is "You shop while we fix it!"

The woman on duty at the counter took the necklace, peered at it through that weird-looking eye piece, tinkered with the clasp with capable, practiced hands, and handed it back to me. "See the little prong here? It was bent in the wrong direction. All fixed. No fear it will fall off your neck. No charge." I wondered if they trained the fast jewelry repair folks to talk in sentence fragments to save time.

"Thank you!" was my delighted reply. And though I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and sneakers, I put that pearl necklace on and wore it proudly home.

6/15/2014 4:00:00 AM
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  • Alyce McKenzie
    About Alyce McKenzie
    Alyce M. McKenzie is the George W. and Nell Ayers Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.