In a world that is full of anger and frustration, it’s easy to allow our resentments to simmer. Nonetheless, Jesus reminds us that we are called to be peacemakers.
We are asked to love all neighbors, irrespective of their race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability, and marital status.
Until we have taken the sty from our own eye, we cannot say that we will make peace for others in our neighborhood or community.
So, consider for a moment: what triggers you?
What makes you angry when you read the news? Who do you feel threatened by? Which neighbors are you struggling to love?
What resentment or anger am I feeling today towards another that I have not forgiven and dealt with?
This is our starting point! Feeling angry or fearful does not feel spiritual. You may be tempted to ignore it. Perhaps you tell yourself “I shouldn’t feel this way” – but failing to deal with the truth of your emotions leads to living a lie. ]When we ignore what we are truly experiencing and fail to do the inner work, there will be no fruit.
When we feel anger – or a certain person or situation triggers us – we have an opportunity to do the inner work of forgiveness and letting go. The first step in healing is to acknowledge the truth of what we feel. Then, we can ask for forgiveness.
We are promised that all this will be taken from us and we will be renewed! But in order for healing to take place, we have to be willing to let it go.
If we say that we love God, and we fail to love our neighbor, we lie to ourselves!
Loving God is seeing everyone else around us through the eyes of God. Because when we love God with heart and soul and mind – our heart connects to another through God’s heart. When we love Gop with all our minds – our mind thinks about others as God does. When we love with all our soul – we see their soul as God does.
If you have time, sit down and journal these questions and answers for yourself.
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
I recently discovered some of the works and thoughts of the Russian writer, novelist and philosohper Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He was an Orthodox Christian with a deep faith, a faith which had “a strong emphasis on giving Christian love a social application”. But what I really have treasured have been two quotes that I have found in…
Readings: Isaiah 40: 21- 31 Mark 1: 29-39 Isaiah 40:21-31 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 21 Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants…
Readings: Matthew 18: 21-35 Romans 14:1-12 This morning in Romans we read: Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. … So then, each of us will be accountable to God. And in…
Readings: Romans 9: 1-15 Matthew 14:13-21 Psalm 145: 8-9, 14-21 Compassion: These verses from Matthew & Romans 9 contain a common theme: the compassion of Jesus for the crowd and the compassion of Paul for his Jewish countrymen. Paul is anguished that his Jewish countrymen cannot see the truth of Christ being the promised…
Readings: Psalm 145: 8-14 Romans 7: 15-25a Matthew 11: 25-30 Slow to anger and Abounding in Steadfast Love I titled this sermon “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” as a reminder of the nature of Christ and the ideal version of every Christian. What would this world look like today, if that were…