Re-Forming the Church: Jesus’ Intention? 11.5.17

Matthew 25:31-40:  This year we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. 500 years ago this week, Martin Luther kicked it off with his 95 complaints against the way the church was operating nailed to the wooden doors of the church, which served as the community bulletin board. Last week we nailed some of our statements of belief to the doors in our church, statements taken from different periods of Christian history. The dates are printed on each statement. You will find words dating from 325 all the way to 1986.
This morning I asked you to consider the church today, jotting down descriptive words that capture today’s church from your perspective. Then you added those words to our doors. Continue reading “Re-Forming the Church: Jesus’ Intention? 11.5.17”

The Forgiveness Limit

Matthew 18:21-35    No one ever said forgiveness was easy. Forgiveness does not just happen. It has to be intentional, specific to a person or a group regarding a harmful action or inaction. It is a response to being a recipient of God’s forgiveness that we naturally move toward becoming forgivers. But we are bean counters, we like to keep score, to keep track, to keep things even or fair. Peter represents us all when he asks Jesus to put some limits on forgiveness. He figures that since the rabbis teach that forgiving someone 3 times is satisfying the legal limit, that if he suggests forgiving someone 7 times he would be more than generous, even more than double what is required. He wants Jesus to quantify forgiveness, to tell him how much he expects. That is because we human beings have a natural tendency to forgive with conditions and calculators. Continue reading “The Forgiveness Limit”