WORSHIP WITH US!
8:30AM, 9:45AM in the hall, or 11AM

Location:
7150 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
The SE corner of Pines Blvd and 72nd Ave
Across the street from Broward college South Campus lake
(954) 989-1903
tlcppines@gmail.com


Join Us For Worship!

Join Us For Worship!
Sundays at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

Featured Post

Advent Meditation on Joseph

The reading for Sunday, December 17, 2017: Matthew 1:18-25 This Sunday we read about an angel appearing to Joseph in a dream. We've no...

Saturday, September 01, 2012


A Sermon on James 1:17–27
September 2, 2012

 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;  for your anger does not produce God's righteousness.  Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

 Quick to listen, slow to speak.

 And when we do speak, do we speak with words born from a heart claimed by one word, one true, living and forgiving word, Jesus; Jesus, who teaches us how to speak not from impulse or impatience or anger or self justification, but from love.

When we speak, do we speak from a heart saturated with the love that is Christ Jesus?

Do we?

 That we can sin and do sin does not justify what comes out of our mouths even though we might want it to or expect it to.

That we can sin and do sin does not justify what comes out of our mouths and cannot become our go to excuse even though we might want it to or expect it to.

Oh, well, that’s just me being me, we might say.

That’s just who I am, we might say.

 But that is not who we are, cannot be who we truly are.

In our baptism God, in and through Christ Jesus, has claimed us, forgiven us and sanctified us. Set us apart. Welcomed us into the very household of God.

 Do we dare toss aside our true selves with such casualness?

We follow up our unkind speech, our angry speech or impulsive and careless words with:

Oh, well, that’s just me being me.
That’s just who I am.

But it is not who we are and who we are called to be in Christ Jesus, is it?

We need to let go of the notion that the worst of ourselves gets to define who we are. Rather as James puts it we need to:  welcome with meekness the implanted word. Meekness is one of the key cornerstones of the Christian life. Meekness. Humbleness. Humility. Allowing God the room to rule in our life. To give up the notion that we know better than God what is better for us, the God whose very breath is the air we breathe, who formed us from the dust of the earth, who knew us before we were shaped in our mother’s womb. Meekness is a way of life that acknowledges that God knows better than we do about what is better for us. That we are willing to seek the heart of God at all times. In all things.

 In meekness we ask for God to saturate our hearts with the love of Christ and give us the wisdom and humility to, as the writer of Ephesians puts it:

…be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

 Jesus says over and over again that that we are to live in love: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' And  'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

 The writer of James puts some flesh on that for us telling us that our love of God and neighbor means that we need to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.

For the writers of James faith is not some intellectual idea, or mere mystery, it is embodied. It lives, it breathes, it acts, it dwells in and through our interaction with the rest of creation.


But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves, James says.

Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.

 If people were thoughtlessly and harmfully speaking out in anger in James’ day – if this was so prominent an issue as they were forming the early Christian faith communities – if the continuation of such careless and angry speech risked, we could imagine, ripping apart the earliest Christian communities at their seams, then where do we sit today?

Today where we can “reply to all” with the touch of a button and leave ourselves unable to take it back. Where we read into email and instant messages and text and chat emotions that may or may not be there. Today, one imagine, even without our technology we are no different than any generation in ,jumping to conclusions, assuming all too often the worst of people, never having the humility to in true relationship sit down and share our concerns. We hide. We hurt. We insulate ourselves.

 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves, James says.

 In Luther’s Small Catechism, a book meant to help families teach and explain the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the sacraments and other such things says this about the 8th commandment which is “ You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.

 Defend others? Speak well of them? Explain everything they do in the kindest possible way?

Well, that won’t get people laughing with us.
That won’t make us popular.
That’s not as fun.
We might even say that’s just not me. 
That’s just not who I am.

But there again, we are just deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
When we speak, we are called to speak from a heart saturated with the love that is Christ Jesus.
When we act, we are called to act from a heart saturated with the love that is Christ Jesus.

For God is honored not by our mere hearing of God’s word, but by our humble obedience. God  is honored not by our hearing of the word, but in our doing.  

AMEN.

 

No comments: