We Can Work It Out

Beloved, On this Wednesday, I am reflecting on a world, our world, that seems to be in a constant state of turmoil in so many ways. It is so burdensomely tiring to read about and watch the latest shooting or killing of people in general and people of color in particular. It gets to be so deflating to hear about angst and issues with our politicians, our elected leaders, who seem to be playing party politics like street gangs fighting turf wars with bystanders sometimes being victimized in the process. It can be even more so troubling when we see issues of division and separation showing up in the churches where we are supposed to have peace that passes all understanding and unity as the Body of Christ. To be clear, trouble don't last always but trouble lasts. When I think about what separates us, it often revolves around a lack of seeing ourselves as God sees us. God sees us as those worthy of God's love despite our shortcomings. We often see each other as those undeserving of our love because of our shortcomings. And, this twisted way of loving creates conflict, conflict that hurts, conflict that harms, and conflict that kills relationships. It does not have to be that way; but, when we turn to the world for answers that only God is truly equipped to provide, we should not be surprised. I have found that love is easy when everything and everybody is acting the way that we want everything and everybody to act. The unfortunate thing is that we can call that love when, in reality, we are just expressing what we like. Basically, everything and everybody is okay with me as long as everything and everybody do what I like. Then, it is easy to say that we love everything and everybody. But, life does not work that way. We have issues that arise. We have problems that occur. We have difficulties that show up...in our health, wealth and relationships. And, when these very natural things come against us with our brothers and sisters in Christ, what are we supposed to do? We are supposed to work it out. And, God expects for us to work it out. And, when I type "work it out", I do not mean to talk about someone else, to defame someone else, to tear down someone else, to tarnish the reputation of someone else, to post your opinions about someone else, to text and email everyone else except for the person who you have issue with (and I am a strong advocate for minimizing texting and emailing about emotional issues. It is a relational deathtrap). I do mean work it out. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in 1 Corinthians 6:1, "When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints?" Beloved, the church is supposed to be a community of believers, not a building in the community or a volunteer organization. The church is supposed to represent an alternative way of living in the world that is different from how others in the world are living. The church is supposed to represent God to the world, God who created the world, as God prepares to bring us into a new world. And, for the church to be authentic, the church has to be the church. When we have breakdowns in relationship, the worst of the church shows up when our challenges are taken to the court of law at the extreme or the court of public opinion which can be even worse. At least the court of law has laws on the books about various matters. In the court of public opinion, you can find a friend group to agree with you at your worst, never help you to see the error of your ways, and always try to keep you from being your best. Why? The world does not love you. Jesus came to fulfill the law and commanded that you should love others as you love yourself. And, your love for self and shared with others will fulfill all law. Beloved, we can work it out when we choose to work together rather than against each other, work in solidarity rather than in isolation, work in unity rather than in individuality. God wants us to show the world how to work it out. It is a ministry of reconciliation and God gives you no ministry that God will not equip you to fulfill for God's praise, God's honor, and God's glory. Basically, with God, we can work it out. Beloved, in this day, when you have an issue with a brother or sister in Christ, purpose to work it out with them, through God, for all the world to see; but, do not appeal to the world to judge you or them and do not trust the world to work it out for you. Trust God. With God, we can work it out. Beloved, work it out with us at Noonday Prayer. Work it out with us by continuing to listen to the word of God such as our sermonic broadcast on The Light radio and internet stations. Work it out with us tonight at HOPE Wednesday at 6:30pm. Let us come together and let us work it out. And, remember, God loves you and I love you too! Be blessed, Rev. Cain

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