The readings for this Sunday are Habakkuk 3:2-6, 17-19; Psalm 27:1-10; and Matthew 5:13-20. Borrowing a metaphor from the world of track and field sports, the question for this Sunday is: Doesn’t Jesus “set the bar too high” for us? The Gospel lesson is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus says that He didn’t come to abolish the Law of Moses, and that until heaven and earth pass away not an iota will drop out of the law, and that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the professionally righteous law-keepers (the scribes and Pharisees), we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. He seems to be requiring perfect performance of the law, better than even the most dedicated professionals can accomplish. In the high jump, no one has ever cleared a bar higher that 8 feet, 1/4 inch, and metaphorically speaking, Jesus is “setting the bar” for success at 10 or even 20 feet! It can’t be done! And in fact, keeping the law of God cannot be done – we cannot perform our way into Eternal Life, into the kingdom of heaven. And that is precisely Jesus’ point. The level of righteousness God requires of us to be in His presence is absolutely perfect righteousness, something we cannot even imagine much less hope to pull off, we who sin continually at least in our thoughts and attitudes, if not in overt action. The Sermon on the Mount is meant to inspire us all to seek another way into heaven besides keeping the law, and that is the point of the sermon this Sunday – the path to true righteousness, which oddly enough can be seen in the other readings, Habakkuk and Psalm 27. Come join us on Sunday and find relief from the burden of performing.