Friday: Psalm 40-41; Isaiah 26; Matthew 5.21-37

From: Chris Stroup

Monday morning. We rush out the door for school. "Did everyone get their backpacks? Lunches? Why isn't your coat zipped up? It's 5 degrees out! Hurry, get your seat belt buckled. Yes, you're going to have to take your gloves off to buckle it. I know it's cold. We're going to be late if you don't move quicker." Made it...just in time. Now into autopilot for the drive to work. Traffic slows. "Is that guy behind me going to stop in time? I don't think he is." Then.. the JOLT. "Did he just hit me?! What was he thinking? Why wasn't he paying attention?"

In our reading today from Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, "I say to you everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire."

Monday morning, I went three for three. Fortunately, Jesus' teaching doesn't end by letting us know that getting angry with someone else means that we are liable to judgment on par with committing murder. In verse 23, he clarifies with an example: If you're on you're way to make an offering to God and remember that someone has something against you, first seek reconciliation then offer your gift. Through this example, Jesus ties reconciliation with one another with our relationship with God, and he points to reconciliation as a way to fight against anger. Who do you need to reconcile with?

"OK. Let's see what the damage is. Oh, not so bad. It blends right into the other dents and scratches on my bumper." A hand shake and a relieved "Happy New Year" later, and we're both back on our way to work. 

I live in East Boston (yes, I drive through the tunnels everyday) with my amazing wife of 13 years, three children, and a new dog, Magnolia.