September 12, 2023

MESSAGE – Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost – A – 10 September 2023

MESSAGE – Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost – A – 10 September 2023

How have we been Church in the last week? Where is the Church? Where we gather Monday through to Sunday.

In Matthew we are moving into what does living together look like – looking at forgiveness and steps to reconciliation.

The previous verses is about our care and concern for the vulnerable.

What does it mean to be a community of faith?

Verse 20: where 2 or 3 are gathered, we often approach this with here we are gathered and Jesus is among us, Jesus’ presence is with us in the assembly, gathered Church.

This takes on a different meaning is this gathering is a place of conflict or a situation where reconciliation or forgiveness is needed, where there is tension present.

Jesus is present in these moments when we are looking to reconciliation, forgiveness, what would we say in that moment is Jesus was present at that exchange of words and emotions, before Church, after Church, at morning tea, in a meeting of a ministry group?? If Jesus is really sitting there is that what you are going to say to that person????

The promise of Jesus always being with us and leading us to negotiate this place from a place of faith and love.

There is huge importance in listening to the words of our Lord Jesus and living them out, as we find guidance in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 18, verses 15 to 20.

In these verses, Jesus gives us a profound message about reconciliation and the power of unity in His name. He says, “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” These words from our Savior teach us the significance of addressing conflicts in our lives and in our church community with humility and grace.

Listening to Jesus means taking these words to heart and actively seeking reconciliation when discord arises. Instead of harboring grudges or gossiping, we are called to follow the path of reconciliation that Jesus laid out for us. It may not always be easy, but it’s a crucial part of living out our faith.

Furthermore, Jesus tells us, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” This verse reminds us of the power of coming together as a community of believers. When we gather in His name and seek His guidance, His presence is among us, guiding us towards unity, love, and reconciliation.

But the message of Jesus isn’t just for us within the walls of the church; it’s also for those outside of it. We are called to witness to Jesus’ loving reconciling work to the world. We must be living examples of Christ’s love, forgiveness, and grace in our daily lives.

When people see us living out the teachings of Jesus, they are more likely to be drawn to Him. We become living testimonies to the power of God’s transformative love. Our actions speak louder than words, and by embodying Christ’s love, we can make a difference in the lives of those around us.

As we go about our daily lives, let us remember the words of Jesus and the importance of living them out. Let us actively seek reconciliation, unity, and love within our church community. And let us be witnesses to Jesus’ loving reconciling work by the way we live, sharing His message of hope, love, and salvation with a world in need.

Let us pray for the strength and wisdom to listen to Jesus’ words and live them out faithfully. May His love shine through us, drawing others to Him, and may our lives be a testimony to His grace and mercy. Amen.