Day 184, | Saturday, 19 September 2020
COVID-19 Update: As of September 18th, at 4:30 pm there were 602 cases in the county with 151 in 14701 zip code.
One of my favorite and sometimes most challenging times in the worship service was my time with the children. There was, on occasion, one kid who would completely mess up what I had planned. One of my best children’s moments was using a small tube of toothpaste. I would select one child, give them the tube of toothpaste and a paper plate. Then I would tell them to squeeze out all the tooth paste onto the paper plate. Then I would select another child and say to them, now you put the toothpaste back into the tube. You can imagine the looks and comments I would get from the kids upon that request. I would then talk about the words we say, especially when we are not getting our way or when we are unhappy with one of our parents or siblings. Once the words are out of the mouth, it is difficult to take them back. Another way to illustrate the same thing would be to take a feather pillow, cut it open, go outside and shake the feathers out – then try to pick them all up and put them back in the pillow. That is difficult especially on a windy day. Words, we can’t take them back once they are out.
Have you ever been a victim of another’s rumors or vicious words? It hurts doesn’t it.
Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 23:1-3 CEB Don’t spread false rumors. Don’t plot with evil people to act as a lying witness. 2 Don’t take sides with important people to do wrong. When you act as a witness, don’t stretch the truth to favor important people. 3 But don’t privilege unimportant people in their lawsuits either. (Message "Don't pass on malicious gossip.”)
The following is from Amy Boucher Pye “After Charles Simeon (1759–1836) was named the minister of Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge, England, he faced years of opposition. As most in the congregation had wanted the associate minister to be appointed rather than Simeon, they spread rumors about him and rejected his ministry—even at times locking him out of the church. But Simeon, who desired to be filled by God’s Spirit, sought to cope with the gossip by creating some principles to live by. One was never to believe rumors unless they were absolutely true and another was “always to believe, that if the other side were heard, a very different account would be given of the matter.” In this practice, Simeon followed God’s instructions to His people to cease the gossip and malicious talk He knew would erode their love for each other. One of God’s Ten Commandments reflects His desire for them to live truthfully: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). Another instruction in Exodus reinforces this commandment: “Do not spread false reports” (23:1). Think of how different the world would be if each of us never spread rumors and false reports and if we stopped them the moment we heard them. May we rely on the Holy Spirit to help us speak the truth in love as we use our words to bring glory to God.”
Words – once they are out, they cannot be put back in. Rumors and false statements are very harmful. I believe I should purchase a truck load of small toothpaste tubes and send it to a whole lot of politicians.
“Jesus, help me to speak Your truth in love. Give me words that bring peace, grace, and encouragement.” Lord, hear our prayers and help us be truthful always. Amen.
Prayers for our country and the family of Supreme Court Justice RBG.
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus