Here is part of the 5th chapter of Matthew from The Message:
21-22 “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.
23-24 “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.
25-26 “Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you’re likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won’t get out without a stiff fine.
It has me thinking about our discussion last week of the languages and messages we can hear. It sounds so easy to “make things right,” but we all know how very hard that is.
The 5 Languages of Love were mentioned in class last week. Those languages are words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
I’m wondering how those languages relate to the lesson we are hearing in Matthew. How do love languages connect with “making things right?” I’m wondering how the lesson in Matthew applies to us on this week of division and distrust in our national conversations and actions. I’m wondering how this lesson takes us forward into our next week.
Last week I shared with you that Trinity Episcopal Church in Gatlinburg needs our help. It is so great when someone tells you exactly how you can show love to them–in this case, they have asked for money for the Rector’s Discretionary Fund so that they can pay bills and buy food for our neighbors in Gatlinburg who are struggling after the wildfire.
Please send your donation c/0 the Rector’s Discretionary Fund to the following address:
Trinity Episcopal Church
P. O. Box 55
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Come to class tomorrow. We miss you when you’re not around.