God Pause for Thursday, 9/4/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Thursday, 9/4/2014 Reading: Matthew 18:15-20

Community is of upmost importance for Jesus. But he is realistic that where "two or three are gathered" in his name that there will be two or three (at least!) opinions of how the church (or ministry) should function or how others in the congregation should behave. I'm inclined to think that Jesus is not worried here just about differences of opinion but about those occasions when real harm has been done to another in the community. Yet even a small offense is still a tear at the fabric of our relationships with each other as the body of Christ. Jesus wants even those small offenses reconciled, not simply covered up with a band aid where they can continue to fester.

Bringing everything to the light, speaking the truth in love and airing our differences is what makes communities rich, diverse and meaningful. It's also a reminder that we cannot go about participating in God's mission in the world alone, in a vacuum or in our own silo. Only when we can truly come together with open hearts, minds and souls can we move forward past our own baggage to reveal God's desire for reconciliation with all of creation.

God of unity, we were created to live in community. We were created to love and serve you and our neighbor, yet we fall short. Forgive us and bring us together as one people of God bound in love and mercy for the sake of your world. In the name of your Son who shows us radical love, we pray. Amen.>

Brigett Weier Englewood, Colo. Master of Divinity, 2012

Matthew 18:15-20 (NRSV)

15 "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."

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