To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner is you.
Welcoming Guests and Announcements – Pastor Ross
Hymn Sing – Congregational Hymn Pick
Prayer Concerns – Pastor Ross
Pastoral Prayer – Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
Scripture Reading – Matthew 5:21-26 – Pastor Ross
Message – Cultivating Peace
Communion – Pastors Linda, Ross & Dave
Benediction – Pastor Dave
Matthew 5:21-26 – New Revised Standard Version
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’
22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment, and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council, and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.
23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.
25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.
26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Anger has deep roots within us the human heart. Our propensity to violence has been with us since the beginning. We’ll talk about how we honor God’s desire for reconciliation in world and building a peaceful society. It will take the work of all of us.
Violence is like a disease now in way it spread. What actually works in preventing violence: it requires change in communities at multiple levels, but it is possible. The proliferation of guns in our society is problematic.
Mostly we feel tragedy, sadness and hopelessness over the lack of change and constant killing of innocent people. Jesus invites us to own our anger, but not let it get it away or grow.
Jesus commissions us to be peacemakers, to take the first steps of reconciliation and to be hopeful of how God can work. If we can figure out how to go to Mars, we can build a safer world for our children, grandchildren and families.