Matthew 23:1-7 NRSVue

1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’s seat; 3therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it, but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others, but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. 5They do all their deeds to be seen by others, for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues 7and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to have people call them rabbi.

Some thoughts on this scripture

/They tie up heavy burdens.../ Those who have abandoned the practice of religion often talk as though a burden has been lifted from them. They felt it as a weight, a worrying set of obligations. Jesus is reproaching the Pharisees for making our relationship with God into such a burden, and for parading their religion as a kind of social one-up-manship.

Lord, may I know you as my joy, my comfort and relief, my secret treasure. This space is sacred. I am happy here.