In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
28 One of the legal experts heard their dispute and saw how well Jesus answered them. He came over and asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
29 Jesus replied, “The most important one is Israel, listen! Our God is the one LORD, 30 and you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength [Deuteronomy 6:4-5] 31 The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself [Leviticus 19:18]. No other commandment is greater than these.”
8 From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. 9 Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.
Scholar William Barclay noted that rabbis in Jesus’ day held two differing ideas. Some believed “there were lighter and weightier matters of the law…great principles which were all-important to grasp.” Others “held that every smallest principle was equally binding.” * Jesus wasn’t unsure about that—he said some principles are central, far more vital than others. Loving God and loving your neighbor, Jesus said, are the greatest commandments, defining expressions of God’s will. The apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 4 came, not from some peaceful meadow or Sunday School room, but a chilly, damp Roman prison cell. Writing about joy and peace in that grim setting, Paul knew that what we choose to focus on can weaken or strengthen our relationship to God and to other people.
Lord Jesus, teach me how to think your thoughts. Guide me into a thought life obsessed, not with fear, anger or ugliness, but with all the is excellent and admirable. Amen.
As we talk about technology, I can’t help but recall the many years I have tried to give up some form of social media for Lent. There were times social media felt toxic, and hostile. But it was still almost a reflex to pick up my phone, or open the computer, and look to some form of social media. It felt impossible to give up, but I was committed, until I wasn’t. The reason I gave up trying to avoid it surprised even myself.
As I started having conversations with people in my life, I realized avoiding social media meant I was missing out on things that people were sharing online. Even people I saw every day. Friends would share their pictures of new babies, new homes, new pets, announcements of grief and loss, requests for prayer, birthdays, college choices, sports wins. I missed out on opportunities to reach out to friends to celebrate with them, or care for them. I had a whole hub of connection, and I didn’t even realize it because I had been so focused on the negativity that can sometimes overtake social media and technology.
About a year and a half ago I moved from Pennsylvania to Kansas City. Since I have been gone, social media has become even more of a lifeline for me to stay connected with people I miss, and love. It’s a gift to be able to celebrate with your family from hundreds of miles away because I can’t always be with them. I can’t begin to imagine how Jesus would use a cell phone or social media, but I wonder if he would find it a helpful relational tool, building communities and networks of support, connection, and prayer from all over the world. I wonder if he would see it as an opportunity to love neighbors who are near and far and build lasting connections with people.
We have the power to determine how it influences our daily life. For me, I am choosing to utilize technology as a tool for positive connection in my life, and I have made some choices to ensure it is that. Technology truly is my lifeline to connect with the people I love. It has also given me the platform to respond to Jesus’ call to love my neighbors. But not just my neighbors here in Kansas City, down the road, or in our church community. Technology has allowed me to remain in communities that are thousands of miles away, by providing space and opportunity to celebrate together, grieve together, and do life together. My hope for you is that technology can be a powerful, and positive tool, for connection and community building in your life as well.
* William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of Mark (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 294.
** I-Jin Loh and Eugene A. Nida, A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. New York: United Bible Societies, 1977, p. 134.1