SHALOM: US VS. THEM
Message by Josh Mutter – January 15, 2023
Big Idea: Practising Shalom means rejecting the absolute categories of “us vs them.”
1. We practise shalom when we refuse to withhold ourselves from others
Matthew 5:43-49 NIV “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
When we are praying for and serving others, it is hard to view them as enemies.
2. We practise Shalom when we allow Jesus to define how we understand one another
Ephesians 2:11-16 NIV Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
Galatians 3:26,28 NIV So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith … There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
James 1:19 CEV My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry.
HOW TO LISTEN – LISTENING INVOLVES:
- Asking questions to help us understand someone better
- Acknowledging the perspective of who we are talking with
- Giving the benefit of the doubt
You can watch the sermon on Youtube here.
About Josh Mutter: Josh Mutter is the Lead Pastor at Westheights Community Church. Josh is married to Michelle and they have two very busy little boys named Silas & Isaac. Josh enjoys long walks on the beach and smooth jazz – well, not really. But he does enjoy time with his family, spending time outdoors, watching baseball, sipping coffee and reading a good book.