AMT 1/5

Unfortunately, sometimes “Do you hear what I hear?”  becomes, “Did you hear what I heard.”
​There’s a difference, you know. “Do You Hear What I Hear” is an amazing announcement made to share an amazing child has been born and will come again. That announcement needs to be shared with all people. Salvation has come to the world…Hallelujah! What is the announcement that you are sharing these days? Are you telling folks about the fact that Christ was born to save us all? In our country, it feels really difficult to share this announcement?

 

You know what doesn’t seem hard? Sharing things that we have no business sharing or sharing information that we don’t really understand.  We never have the whole story.  When information about someone is shared from person to person it usually gets changed – especially when done so in a hushed voice of secrecy. If you have to whisper it, should it be said at all? It is like the game called ‘gossip’ or ‘telephone’ from childhood. Do you remember it?  One person whispers a message to another who whispers to the next, etc….  Suddenly, “We wish you a Merry Christmas” becomes “There’s a fish in Harry’s britches.”  Poor Harry. For the rest of the day, it was in the back of some minds that he may smell like fish, and thus, he is avoided.  ‘

We humans want to know what is going on.  When someone is missing, we want to know why.  If someone is angry, we want to know what happened. Rather than contacting the one missing directly or praying for peace in conflicts, we share what we know in hopes that someone will give us more information back. If you want to know if Harry has a fish in his britches-ask him.  If he doesn’t want to share, then fine. We love him anyway, fish or no fish.

 

What if we do know what is going on?  What do we do then?  Ask permission to share for prayer. What if there is a disagreement between friends? I love Proverbs 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out, and without gossip a quarrel dies down.” It is only when a rumor dies out that there is any hope of working things out.  How, then, do disagreements get resolved? God has a plan for that too. Encourage the people involved to follow Matthew 18:15-17.  In short, if someone has a problem with another Christian, meet with them IN PRIVATE.  If that doesn’t help, take one or two folks (normally elders or leaders of the church-staff can pray together for wisdom and/or have be praying for the situations as we have seen them) to witness what is being said.  Then, we have to be very careful. If the person refuses to listen, it can be taken to the church. What if you are involved and the resolution doesn’t punish the other person to your satisfaction? Read further in Matthew 18:21 where Peter asks how many times he has to forgive someone. Seven? Nope! Seventy-seven times. (Some translate this as seventy times seven times)

 

Brothers and sisters – I love you.  I don’t want gossip, misunderstanding or slander to hurt our worship.  Don’t let this text make you wonder if something is going on…there is always something going on. The message here is an eternal message.  Being careless with what a person says or feels can cause what Satan desires –  a breach in the church.  So, work things out, don’t just walk away.  People today have problems trying to forgive, work things out, and change.  Let’s show them how.

 

Dear Lord,

Help us to use communication as it was meant to be – constructive, not destructive.  Help us share our concerns with you. Help us to communicate with others only when we have gotten permission.  Do not let gossip or anger cause permanent wedge in our resolutions.  Help us to re-build relations by starting with forgiveness.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

 

Pastor Charlene