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    Resources for Pentecost +12


Texts & Discussions:

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33 and
Psalm 130
Ephesians 4:25-5:2
John 6:35, 41-5



Closing Prayer:

May almighty God fill you with the Bread of Heaven so you will grow in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
May you lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work.

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from God's glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to God in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.



Children's Messages

Sermon Excerpt

Divine Anger? 
Ephesians 4.25-52
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

(some concepts of this sermon are borrowed from one of Barabara Brown Taylor's Lenten series sermons).

Did you just hear what I heard in the Scripture reading? Were we reading from a strange bible version, or did we come across a translation mistake? Or did the apostle Paul actually write: "Be angry but do not sin?" Now think about that for a moment. Can you think back to a time in your life when you were angry with someone without sinning? Without also calling that person names under your breath? Can anybody be angry with someone without talking bad about that person behind his/her back? Without yelling at this person, or at least, giving them a piece of our mind?

Let us look at this saying in context. Paul writes: "Let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another," he coached them. "Be angry but do not sin. 'Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you."

Paul's words sound strange to people of our culture today. And that is true for Christians as well. We do not, on the whole, speak the truth to our neighbors. We are polite but noncommittal, wanting above all to he liked. Our culture teaches us to be shallow in our relationship with others. Keep your safe distance from persons. Don't let anyone so close to you that they can hurt your feelings.

And because our culture teaches us to be shallow in our relationships, we do not live as though we were members of one another. What does Paul mean by that? Remember he is talking to church members! Living as though we were members of one another means that contrary to what our culture teaches us that we are supposed to enter into very close relationships with one another. As close as a close-knit family. Close enough to expose ourselves to the danger of getting our feelings hurt.

In today's age, to be nice is what seems to be highest virtue, to be nice and to be liked by everyone. Now, we have to understand that to be nice is NOT the same as to be kind, which Paul calls us to be.

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