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Oct 16, 2022 – 3. Loving Your Neighbor with whom you Disagree

Welcoming Guests and Announcements – Pastor Linda

Prelude – God Who Made the Earth and Heaven ‐ Arr. Pat Harris

Meditation:

Jesus shows a relentless unwillingness for evil to win, though it may appear at times to have the lead. ~Steven Eason

Call to Worship – Pastor Dave

Opening Hymn                – O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing – Hymnal #57

Prayer Concerns – Pastor Linda

Prayer Song – Through it all ‐ Hymnal #507

Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer, Lord’s Prayer

Anthem – Bless Us now This Day ‐ Wagner

Litany of Reconciliation – Pastor Dave

Offering – Ernie Gutierrez

Preparation Hymn – I Need Thee Every Hour – Hymnal #397

Scripture Reading  – Matthew 5:21‐22, 43‐48 – June Moore

Message – Loving Your Neighbor with whom you Disagree

Closing Hymn – Where Charity and Love Prevail – Hymnal #549

Benediction & Response  

Postlude – AZMON – Fanfare ‐ M. B.Smith

Matthew 5:21-22, 43-48 – New Revised Standard Version

Concerning Anger

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.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

44 But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the gentiles do the same?

48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

How we get along with people with whom we disagree politically. Our kindness is most tested in moments of divisiveness, with difficult people or people with whom we disagree vehemently. Jesus knew that we humans are quick to judge others. He also knew we tend to overlook or excuse similar (or even worse) things in ourselves. That pattern is destructive and hurtful in workplaces or families or politics.

Anger & malice in the heart are cancers that metastasize & grow. We can disagree without being disagreeable. Love is tested by people we don’t like or get along with or consider enemies. Jesus invites us to share risky love that wants and intends the best for others.

We’re facing difficult emotions of fear & anger with those who are disagreeable. We easily demonize people who hold differing views and perspectives. To nurse anger is to kill divine love. God can “renew our minds” (Romans 12) and refresh our love in the ways of Jesus so that we respond with Christ-like kindness and love.

Extremely poor behavior requires extreme good.  We can practice forgiving love, love that interrupts anger, hatred and rants.  We can seek the good of others even when don’t deserve it. Our kindness can interrupt divisiveness.

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