Matthew 5: 38-48 indicates Jesus states perfection doesn’t have to do with performance; it has to do with relationships. Sometimes one does not realize the impression one makes on others. Some difficult behaviors are recommended in this scripture. Jesus knows how hard it is to change how one responds to others, but he encourages everyone to try.
One tenet states to give to everyone who begs from you and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. Pastor describes the men in most major cities who stand by the road with signs seeking money or help. While some just tend to drive past them, this scripture seeks to bring conscience to the task. If money is given, what does one know whether if it is spend for the help or for the liquor or drugs. One suggestion is to buy crackers and peanut butter packs to give to them.
Jesus is perfect but he knows humans aren’t going to be as perfect as he is. Perfection has to do with the tendency most have to take everything personally, resulting in misunderstanding and anger. While one is going to encounter evil people in life, one is called to forgive them and put enough emotional distance between ourselves and the other to try to discern what created the situation and how one might have contributed to it. There is great difficulty in trying to understand the factors which contributes to the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York or the deadly result in last year’s Boston Marathon.
Bad people are still children of God. Maybe one finds it difficult to love them but one still should pray for them and their behaviors. Maybe God will be able to amend their ways. Jesus says to release the need to be right and to allow people one might ordinarily reject into your life’s journey. There is much work to do in this world in Jesus’ name. Jesus does not want one to live like a Christian on Sunday and then fight with neighbors from Monday until the next Sabbath. One hymn verse cautions that if one doesn’t love their neighbor and show them mercy, one doesn’t love God.
Visitors are welcome to come to the church, especially the Eighth Sunday of Epiphany. The time you come is your choice - Contemporary Service at 8:30 a.m. or children and adult Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. or Traditional Service at 10:45 a.m.