Rev. Alexis Johnson
March 21, 2021

Scripture: Matthew 6:16-21, 7:1-5

Secondary Source: The Sermon on the Mount: A Beginners Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine Abingdon Press 2020

Thesis: Our treasure in heaven is available here and now in the community we build.

Making My Case:

  • We have agreed that all people are created in the Image of God.
  • Because God is three-in-one, the nature of Image is love and relationship – therefore we are created to be in relationship. Violence begins in judging oneself to be better than others.
  • Violence and judgement shred communities even if they are not the community it occurred in.
  • Humans have an irrational flight-fight-freeze response that is activated by fear. Violence and hate in one place, activates this response in those who have similar experiences. This is what people mean when they talk about being triggered.
  • The treasure Jesus talks about is not a star for a someday crown. Heaven is here and now as God’s will is done.

We Are Called:

  • While we may be desperate to defend ourselves (“not all men”, “not all white people”, etc); when fear is activated this argument makes it worse.
  • This is not about being woke or PC with our words but being loving to the Images of God around us for the sake of building up community.
  • We will mess up! We must apologize and work to do better.
  • This is connected to other times we’ve discussed laying down the power we do have in order to demonstrate our love and the love of God.

Call to Action and Response: Seriously pray and consider words and actions this week. What have we done and said because it was our “right” to? What should we do and say because it is the most loving?

#405 The United Methodist Hymnal

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