CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
October 31, 2021
Actions and Attitudes are Everything!
In the scripture we read, Jesus begins talking about the 6th Commandment from the original law, the Ten Commandments. Jesus is basically saying you have all heard and are aware of the fact that it is a sin to commit murder. However, let me tell you something more. If you are angry with someone without a legitimate reason, you will also be subject to judgment. Also, if you call someone the name, Raca, which means empty headed fool, you will be brought before the church leaders or possibly the courts. If you say to someone, “You fool!” you will be subject to the fires of hell. That may be talking of a punishment for people that they knew from their past, mentioned in Jeremiah 7:31-32, initially a place of evil human sacrifice in an always burning fire. Jesus may have been referencing, however, the eternal punishment for those who sin against God. Jesus is not changing the Law of Moses by watering it down. He is actually letting everyone know not only evil actions such as murder will bring judgment, but also more innocent-seeming words can be just as damaging to everyone. Jesus then goes on to say that if you have a problem with your brother or sister, or if you know they have a problem with you, do not offer your gift to God until you have made a legitimate effort to get the problem resolved. Once you have done that, then you can confidently offer your gift to God and know he will bless you for it. Jesus goes on to give one more final encouragement to the people about actions and attitudes. If the problem is so big that a brother or sister is taking you to court, go to them. If you have honestly done nothing wrong, listen to them so you understand these problems. Maybe you can help them understand why you did what you did and they will realize it was just a misunderstanding. The same thing may be true with you. Maybe you did do something wrong but did not realize it was that big a deal to them. You can stop a smaller problem before it gets too big. Jesus is warning that you never know how things may work out. You may be thrown in prison just because you were too stubborn to listen to the complaint before it was too late.
Do we believe any of this applies to us today? Let us look at these one more time, one at a time. All of us, I believe, understand murder is a crime in America and is clearly a sin against God and man. We should all understand, there will be consequences from this nation, and if the sin is not dealt with before God, eternal punishment as well.
The next ones can get a bit trickier. They are about anger that is blown out of proportion. And two different types of name calling. Do we ever get mad at people when we think we understand all the facts only to find out there was more to the story? If that has happened either by us or to us, has it created a problem that became really difficult to fix just because we or someone else jumped to conclusions? What about name calling? In reality, is it ever appropriate? If you remember, I admitted I had to reduce the news I was watching because it was frustrating me, even making me mad. I was thinking, and in a limited setting saying, things about some of the leaders that were wrong. I have found myself slipping back into that same attitude. It is one thing to have legitimate disagreements with one another or with our leaders. It is another thing altogether to reduce yourself to a place of name calling. That is never going to accomplish anything but generate more anger. That is why Jesus was pointing out murder is pretty clear cut, but there are other things we do to one another that are just about as bad. In fact, those things that are said and done may be so damaging that we may cause others to give up on God, the church, our families, or one another. That is why Jesus then offered a potential solution. If you want to be right with God as best you can, be right with your brothers and sisters walking this earth with you. Do everything in your power to live at peace with one another. This principle is restated by Paul in Romans 12:18 which says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Jesus closes things out by warning that in the most extreme cases you could actually go to jail because you refused to make a problem go away while there was still time. Jesus is telling us all that both actions and attitudes can get us in trouble with one another and can separate us from God. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” just is not always true. May we honestly look at not only what we do, but also be honest with what we say to and about one another. God is watching. The Holy Spirit can guide us into a better understanding of how we deal with the different situations we face in life. Jesus is not saying we cannot stand up for what is right. We should never compromise on God’s truth--that should be our guiding principle. However, Jesus is reminding us God wants us to be respectful and patient as we speak as well as live God’s truth.
Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday
Submissions for November newsletter due Nov. 3.
November 5, 6 District Conference
November 10—Board Meeting
November 21—Council meeting after worship
November 28—Walt Wiltschek, our new DE, will preach. Afterwards, we’ll have a soup luncheon, and then we will decorate the sanctuary for Christmas.
Care package snacks due by Nov 14. Let Carol know of any who should receive one. Sadie S., Jordan W., Michelle W., Madison W. Others?
The women will be taking orders for candy soon. Watch for details.
Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you!
Donation Box: Pastor’s Assistance Fund
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:
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District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link) and on facebook
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Keep in Your Prayers
Shirley Krall; Jemma; Andy Flenner and family; Mindy Sawyer; Jim (Buck) West; Marlene Schultz; Randy West; Jen Durst; Sarah Rudelick; Sydney (Nancy Gorrell’s niece); Tera Runyan; Carl and Wilma Cable; Marge Starr; Mike Gentry; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Owen Wright; Anna Gentry Thompson; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 700,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Church of the Brethren vision statement:
Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.
Our Mission Statement:
Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.