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Friday, June 12, 2009

Jesus on Anger: Matthew 5:21-26


This has been a rotten week for me. In preparing for worship this Sunday, I have spent way too much time in Matthew 5:21-26 and too much time being forced to look at anger....my anger. I'd really rather focus on and comment about your anger or about anger somewhere else in someone else's life.
The problem in this text is the 2nd person singular. It's not about a group, but about a person; about me. The altarpiece imagery is illustrating what Jesus tells us to do. If on the way to offer our sacrifices we realize a brother or sister has anger toward us (note this is not about me dumping my anger toward anyone else so I can get it off my chest) we need to leave our sacrifice, get ourselves reconciles (2nd person singular aorist passive!!!) and then go back to worship.

Is Jesus really telling us that our sacrifices and worship are ineffective so long as we allow anger to dwell between us? Is that possibly the reason many believers have such poor prayer lives and boring worship experiences? They just don't want to let go of their anger? What would happen in my life, in my marriage, in our staff, in our congregation if we would choose NOT to let anger reign and run rampant? It would be sweet! Dump the anger on the floor!

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