Fall/Winter Sunday Worship Schedule
9:30 a.m. Education Time
10:30 a.m. Worship and Holy Communion
1st & 3rd Saturdays
5-7 p.m. Soul+Food Dinner Church
Bethany Lutheran Church
3901-36th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Office hours: M-F 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
After “mama” and “dada”, I think the first words children speak are “that’s not fair!”. Kids are able to detect tiny differences in servings of supposedly equal bowls of ice cream, they have a fair-o-meter on guard at all times to make sure they don’t get a bad deal.
Of course it’s not only kids who act this way, they learned well from the grownups. We can point out injustice all day long, while sitting in places of privilege. But we are much more interested in cases of injustice that involve us- if other people are being denied due process or fair compensation, that’s kinda their problem to work out. Don’t want to get involved, you know.
Today is Holy Cross Sunday, and so I think it is appropriate to start with the cross in this message. A lot of us wear crosses- some plain, some fancy, some with jewels, some large or small… etc. But every once in a while it is good to review exactly what it is that we are wearing when we don the cross.
Our adornment is a torture device. There is no pretty or polite way to say it.
The Gospel text for today is a refutation for the famous “Minnesota Nice” attitude. “MN Nice” is what outsiders from other states call our penchant for pleasant and shallow conversation, never tackling issues head-on, but making sure they are fully discussed and examined when the person involved is out of the room.
Minnesota Nice sweeps conflict under the table. Jesus says- not a chance. Because underlying the process of church discipline which Jesus lays out is a concern for reconciliation, and an understanding that conflict in the Body of Christ- the church- is much more than between individuals, it affects the entire community.