Sunday, October 5, 2014

October 12, 2014 - 18th Sunday of Pentecost

Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for October 12th: Exodus 32: 1-14; Psalm 106: 1-6,19-23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14; Theme: Jesus’ Salvation is intended for everyone; Song: What a Friend we have in Jesus UMH 526 Philippians: Community is the key to being a Christian. You cannot be a Christian on an island. And yet sometimes living with others is the biggest challenge of the church. Paul understands that even the best of churches have conflict. It is conflict that can destroy the worst of churches. In this verse, Paul addresses conflict in the Philippian church head on. Two women are going at it and everyone is taking sides. Paul tells them that it time to cool out. He enlist the help of the local bishop to keep the women honest. He tells all churches that when conflict is destroying the church – the church should rejoice, pray, and once you give it to God to go forward in peace, knowing that God will take care of it. Matthew: Jesus is explaining to the powers that be, the authority that he has to teach people about God. He is the Son of God and received his authority directly from God. God does all that God can to get our attention. God sends all kinds of messages and all kind of messengers. The biggest messenger we can have is Jesus Christ. Coming to God is like taking part in a feast. We are all invited to the party. God learned that is was useless to have an exclusive list. People get so interested in coming to the party that they forget who invited them. Jesus reminds us as church people that we should not get to exclusive and thinking that we are special. We are only special because of God’s love. We have to remember, just because we get an invitation, doesn’t mean we will get in the party. We have to put on the fruits of the spirit, love, gentleness, peace, kindness and demonstrate them in all that we do. God does not need us, we need God. Questions: What happens in your church when there is conflict? What biblical principles are put in place to help solve it, who are the people that serve as mediators? What does it mean for God to invite all people to the table? What role do you play in making that happen? Is being a Christian a right or a priviledge? Is God’s party here on earth, in heaven or both?

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