2017 Cantata Click Here


 Pastor’s Message by Interim Pastor Bob Friese

THE GOLDEN RULE
Remember the Golden Rule? No, I don’t mean the one that says, “Whoever has the gold makes the rules,” even though some churches embrace that concept. I mean the one from the Bible. The one from the lips of Jesus, recorded in Matthew 7:12:

Treat others as you want them to treat you.
Jesus said this because he knows our tendency is to think: Do to others BEFORE they do it to you. In our sinful humani-ty, we are hardwired to get defensive, to revert to the childish habits of tattling, gossiping, and playing the victim. And Jesus gets its. Life is tough, confusing, and often devastating. Then Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:20: Do not be like children in your thinking, my friends; be children so far as evil is concerned, but be grown up in your thinking.

But how can we do this? Even Luther tells us we are simultaneously sinners and saints. But that’s the point. Every time we explore/examine an issue, every time we open our mouths, we have a choice: Will I think and speak like a sinner, or like a saint? Jesus gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, who offers us the heart and mind of Christ. And we claim that, in Holy Baptism, that Spirit is stirred up and set loose to do great things through God’s people for the sake of the Kingdom. And we know what such Spirit-filled behavior looks like, according to Galatians 5: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Because we human, and because we want to do our best, can turn our hearts and minds to Christ each time we think and speak. And we can get the help we need. One idea from the ELCA encourages each congregation to commit to becoming a Golden Rule Church. The idea is that, for one year, or a total of 52 weeks, we print this weekly pledge in our bulletins, newsletters, even in our worship PowerPoint overheads: (continued)

WE ARE A GOLDEN RULE CHURCH

Jesus said, Treat others as you want them to treat you (Matthew 7:12).
At Peace Lutheran Church,
• We want our words and actions to reflect Jesus’ Golden Rule.
• We will refrain from gossip, rumors, slander, and lies.
• We will refrain from actions that would be hurtful or degrading.
• We will strive to speak and act in ways that will build up our sisters and brothers in Christ, and by doing so, give glory to God.

 

We will remember these words from Luther’s Small Catechism:

The Eighth Commandment: Do not bear false witness; do not lie about others.

What does this mean? We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neigh-bors, but defend them, think and speak well of them, and put the best construction on everything. As a Golden Rule Church, we would also expect our leaders (Church Council and others) to be trained in how to act as a neutralizing agent to gossip and unhelpful conversation. They will be coached in the actions outlined in a document called “The Seven Steps for

Dealing with Congregational Conflict.”
I find it odd that every time a pastor or other church leader mentions conflict or dealing with destructive behavior, may people think, “What’s wrong?” or “Is there something going on we need to deal with?” I would simply like people to believe that when conflict and conflict resolution is mentioned, it’s because we’re human. It’s because we’re all tired of lies, gossip, and foolish drama. And most important, it’s because we should be extraordinarily aware of how God’s Kingdom is devastated by lies, gossip, and foolish drama.

Please think about Peace Lutheran becoming a Golden Rule Church. Pray about it. Talk about it with others. And here’s the bottom line as to why I drafted this article. Over the last 8+ months, great and inspiring things have been happening at PLC. There is renewed energy, and many people have put in countless hours of work to make things go well here. That work is paying off, so let’s keep it going.

The Spirit of God has been stirred up and let loose here. When we focus on the words, Treat others as you want them to treat you, the Kingdom will grow, and PLC could possibly become known as a congregation that not only recites Jesus’ Golden Rule, but one that embodies that Rule in all we say and do. To God be the

Glory!

With Gratitude and Joy,

Pastor Bob

 

Pastor Bob Friese, Interim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

           

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

  

                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join Us for Worship with Holy Communion

Saturday Evenings at 5 p.m.
Sunday Mornings at 9 a.m.