By Rev. Scott Andrews
You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 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. So, when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 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. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. – Matthew 5:21-26
“The Sermon on the Mount is perhaps the greatest sermons preached by perhaps one of the best preachers around!” A seminary professor once said this – tongue in cheek of course – to a class I was a part of. Of course, it is the great sermon of Jesus. Of course, Jesus is the great preacher of the New Testament. And yet, we all need to spend more time in this section of Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 5:1-7:27). Over the next few months, I’m going to use selections of this sermon for my monthly Vine article.
We have all been in arguments before. Whether they were with family, friends, co-workers, classmates, or neighbors, we have all experienced the pain and emotional turmoil of conflicting with someone else. We may have even experienced a sense of “internal conflict”. No matter which type or with whom we have experienced conflict, these disputes destroy and distract.
As Jesus continues preaching the Sermon on the Mount, he begins a series of comments that begin with the phrase “you have heard that it was said”. There are six times that this phrase is used. Each of them is an entry into a discussion on the commandments. They are not attempting to change the commandments, but to help us find a deeper meaning to each of the commandments.
This particular attempt is to help us move beyond the taking matters into our own hands. We have all, as I state before, had disputes with others that have unnerved us. Some of us may have even felt “our blood boil” in anger toward the person we are in dispute with. Jesus is cautioning us to rethink our anger. He says, “If you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement”. He cautions us even further to not insult each other also. He further explains that we can’t even enter worship if we feel this way. Instead, he tells us to settle things quickly.
There are some who will say that this philosophy is “Pollyannaish”. And that may be true. But what good does anger do us. If anything, anger only robs us of a full connection with God and with one another. “It’s a slow poison we drink hoping the other person dies,” as some have said. My suggestion is to follow the words of Christ. Find settlements to your disputes. Let go of the anger. Live in the fellowship of Christ.
Murrieta United Methodist Church
Helping You Make Jesus Real to Kids
Murrieta United Methodist Church Invites Children to Roar VBS: Life is wild, God is good.A
A summer kids’ event called Roar VBS will be hosted at Murrieta United Methodist Churchfrom June 17thto21st.
At Roar VBS, kids discover that God is good even when life get wild!
Kids participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, make and devour yummy treats, experience one-of-a-kind Wild Bible Adventures, collect Bible VBS Memory Buddies to remind them of God’s love, and test out Sciency-Fun Gizmos they’ll take home and play with all summer long.
Plus, kids will learn to look for evidence of God all around them through something called God Sightings at VBS. Each day concludes with the Safari Celebration that gets everyone involved in living what they’ve learned. Family members and friends are encouraged to join in daily for this special time at 11:30am.
I had an appointment with my hair stylist yesterday and during the course of my trim she asked what other plans I had for the day. I mentioned that I was taking a Meal Train to one of our church members. “Meal Train? What is that?” she asked. I explained to her that Meal Train is an organizational email-delivered planning method for getting meals delivered to people temporarily requiring help.
My favorite part of this process is visiting, however briefly, with the person needing the meal.
When one or more of our church family is in need of help with meals due to an illness, recuperating from a hospital stay, a birth of a new family member, etc. (this information is acquired from calls to the Pastors, church office, friends and family and prayer requests) a call goes out to the Caring Ministry Chair, Eula Anyiwo.
Eula the sends out a Meal Train email to anyone who has expressed an interest in providing meals and/or delivering them. The email contains information on the what family is needing help, what their food preferences are as well as a calendar of available dates for delivering a meal. These dates are normally Monday, Wednesday and Friday of any given week. The length of service is for a defined period, arranged with the Meal Train Organizer and the recipient depending on their needs.
The Meal Train app sends the provider reminders of their Meal Train date, gives contact information for the family receiving the meal
In the next step, interested people sign up for a particular date to provide a meal. That meal can be cooked at home, purchased from a takeout restaurant, and even provided by purchasing a Grub Hub gift card (the provider pays for a card through the Meal Train site and the family/person needing the meal orders something of their preference and sets up a delivery time with Grub Hub). The Meal Train app sends the provider reminders of their Meal Train date, gives contact information for the family receiving the meal (so you can set up a convenient time to drop the meal off) and a map to help locate the home address.
That meal can be cooked at home, purchased from a takeout restaurant, and even provided by purchasing a Grub Hub gift card
My favorite part of this process is visiting, however briefly, with the person needing the meal. It is my chance to share a hug, a smile and to let the recipient know that MUMC is thinking about them. I have been in the shoes of the recipient in the past and so I know the extreme gratitude and relief a visit and a warm meal bring.
Picking up a take-out meal and dropping it by on your way home from work, preparing a meal in your own home and delivering it or ordering a gift card for the person/family temporarily needing assistance; there are many ways to help. In order to be a meal deliverer from MUMC our church requires that you first complete the Safe Sanctuaries Training. This can be arranged through the church office. You may also choose to provide meals that can be delivered by those who have completed this training.
The Caring Ministry has 5-8 people who share in this ministry of Meal Train and there are SO MANY more seats available on the Train! If you would like additional information please contact Eula at 909-731-6706 or Pastor Tom Rothhaar at 951-639-3490.