“You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” Believe it or not, Jesus uttered this odd phrase once. It’s recorded in Matthew 23, when Jesus berates the Pharisees for a long list of things. It’s a strange image, isn’t it? Someone standing over their kitchen sink, strainer in hand, pouring soup through the strainer; every effort is made to strain the tiny gnat, but the camel is not strained!
When Jesus said this to the Pharisees, he was pointing out the perversion of their religious practices. The Pharisees emphasized the practices that benefited them directly over the practices of justice and mercy. This is a perpetual temptation for people of faith. In the routine of our lives and religious practice, it is all too easy to let justice and mercy take a backseat to the religious practices that seem to benefit us more directly.
JustFaith Ministries was started to help us keep justice and mercy at the forefront of our faith. JustFaith participants are encouraged and empowered to live a faith that stretches into the streets of our community through eight sessions of reading, conversations, spiritual practices, and serving our community. The JustFaith journey is both meaningful and moving. On the journey, you might even learn how to strain the camel.
A JustFaith group will be starting at the church soon, and there are a limited number of spots left! If you are interested in joining or have any questions about JustFaith, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Matt Rollins (email@example.com).