What Impact Will You Make If You Are In Agreement With Others?
Good Evening Friends,
Like the Saturday and Sunday paper we had delivered this morning I am giving you a double helping of devotionals as this will likely be my last post for a while. We are expecting hurricane winds and surge and rain. The various spaghetti plot models of the Irma’s path have reached an accord and now point to us being in the eye wall of one of the strongest hurricanes of all time. One of my friends suggested I write a devotional on the theme overflowing but that must wait for another day. Instead I am sticking to the lectionary and from that picked tomorrow’s question for today. It is about things being better and stronger when we are in harmony with others. It is a warning in a way and an edict of sorts. What Impact Will You Make If You Are In Agreement With Others?
Scripture: So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, “O wicked ones, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life.
Ezekiel 33:7-9 (NRSV)
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans 13:8-10 (NRSV)
“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
Matthew 18:15-20 (NRSV)
Message: We are better together and stronger together too. But during times of stress, such as a hurricane, conflicts can occur. When we walk in harmony with our brothers and sisters we have a stronger impact for the Kingdom of God. We have peace and purpose. We have love. So, what is needed is a prayer of agreement, for it will produce power and in that power, help us to survive that which would be our demise otherwise. Friends, winning is best found in agreement with others. There is a process and it begins with prayer. Hunker down. Get on your knees. The storm is coming.
Pray we honestly acknowledge the conflicts we face. Pray we call on the name of Jesus. Pray we humble ourselves and seek a unity with God’s love. Pray we own the task of seeking reconciliation responsibly. Pray we listen. Pray we take the first step in righting what is wrong. Pray we halt if we are angry or too tired but not wait long to seek a fair resolution to our problems with others. Pray we go directly to the other person with whom we are experiencing conflict and seek a timely reconciliation only engaging others to help mediate if necessary. Pray we use sensitivity. Pray we describe what disturbs us and how it makes us feel and the consequences that have occurred and what we would rather have happened. Pray we fight for the community of God. Pray we be safe.