Maybe you can’t imagine forgiving certain people in your life. Yet Jesus says that before we can fully worship God we are to be reconciled with our brother or sister. We know that forgiveness is one response to hurt and separation that we can choose but how do we work through the feelings and resistance we may have to forgive those who have hurt us deeply.
While Jesus is at a dinner with Pharisees a prostitute crashes the party. She walks into Simon’s house. He may have let out a gasp. She has perfumed ointment in her hand. Why does she come to find Jesus? Why does she bring such expensive oil? Why does she crash the party?
It is instinctive to compare ourselves to others. And when we do so we find out others are richer, skinnier, smarter, taller, prettier and happier than we are. We can’t win by comparing ourselves to others. Many of us feel that we fall short in the comparison game. What do we do?
Our self talk can be destructive. The words we speak to ourselves can be damaging. Do you start your sentences with I can’t? Do you feel that you are not worthy? Others may have torn you down with their destructive words. Fortunately there are new words we can learn for 2021.
God sought to communicate His love and His purpose for humanity through the law, through the prophets, through scripture and worship at a temple in Jerusalem but still the people did not get it. So God did something different. God became one of us in a baby born in a stable. Emmanuel: God with us.
The word “Jesus” means “God saves.” So anytime we say the name Jesus we are saying God saves. He is the deliver. His name says He is Savior. He liberates us. He rescues us. If that is so then what does that really mean?
One key to deal with the stress and worries of today is to focus on what we are thankful about. Thanksgiving day is not a one day occurrence. It is a daily remembrance of all the blessings we have been given. In this message we will use an old tool to refocus our life around giving thanks.
Often we hear about death and disease, tragedy and betrayal, poverty and pain. In light of this suffering we might ask, why do these things happen God? Where are you in the midst of suffering? As we gather today as people who’ve experienced the deep wounds of pain in our lives we are hungry to hear the voice of hope and to know that God hears our cries.
We live in a time of conflict. Two opposing forces or opinions pull us in different directions. Not much communication is taking place between the sides. Both sides think they need to apply more power and they will persevere. But many people get hurt in this type of struggle. Would it surprise you to learn this was going on in the Christian Church in Corinth 2,000 years ago? Fortunately the Apostle Paul had a solution for them.
You can tell a lot about a person’s heart by who has a place at their dinner table. Jesus was constantly getting into trouble for sitting at tables with sinners. It was partly from sitting at too many tables that got Jesus killed. Two thousand years later we sit at a table with Jesus. In this election week may find strength and peace at Jesus’ table.