Thursday, 5th Week after Pentecost

Text: Matthew 18:10-20

Prayer Pointers:

For those in the Church with whom you are in conflict

To notice those who often escape notice

For whoever is considered contemptible

WE ARE NOT ACCUSTOMED to reading Scripture with humor or gentle irony. We prefer to go to them solemn, with full propriety and reverence. Much like the attendant who is focused only on behaving properly before the king and misses the king’s kind engagement, we risk missing our Lord’s gentle and wry wit. It is clear from reading the Gospels that Jesus was quick on his feet and able to use a clever turn of phrase to make a serious point.

This passage about how to deal with conflict in the congregation is a case in point. The outline is straightforward: if your Christian brother or sister has wronged you, go to them and explain what is wrong. Notice the point: “you will have regained/restored your friendship.” If the result is not reconciliation, then bring two or three others. The implied expectation is restoration. If that doesn’t work, then let the whole congregation hear of the wrong and make judgment, again with the goal of reconciliation and restoration. If, after all that, just treat that person like you would a Gentile or a tax collector.

I wonder how much Matthew the tax collector grinned as he wrote down those words…

May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks


Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

824 N. Buchanan Blvd. 

Durham, NC 27701

Miss Mollie's School of Grace Preschool

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824 North Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27701 | 919-682-6030  |

Mission Statement: We are called to Welcome Everyone to Walk the Way of GRACE, and walk in that way in our individual lives, in our shared life in our various communities, in our common life with our neighbors, and even to the world at large as God sends us. The Way of Grace is to: GROW with Jesus, REJOICE in God, ANSWER with hope, CARE for the neighbor, and EMBRACE community.

Vision Statement: God has a plan FOR OUR LIVES, and so we teach how to walk in the path of Jesus Christ; FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, and so we work to build healthy and strong communities; FOR OUR CITY, and so we share life with our neighbors in Walltown, Trinity Park, Duke, and the Triangle; and FOR OUR WORLD, and so we go with Good News.

Core Values: Because God loves us first, we value worship rooted in Scripture and Sacraments, service to all people, and being a welcoming community that loves and forgives one another.