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.
1 So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
9 Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other.
14 Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying. 16 Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart. 17 Don’t pay back anyone for their evil actions with evil actions, but show respect for what everyone else believes is good.
18 If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.
In Romans 12, “‘This world’ [verse 2] is literally ‘this age.’ The ‘renewing of your mind,’ then, includes thinking as citizens of the coming new world.” * One key Greco-Roman idea sounded like a lot of what we hear online today. “The Greeks knew what greatness is, and for them, greatness did not involve humility. Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre noted that humility was not considered a virtue.” * Paul’s ideas were clearly counter-cultural in Roman times, and still are in many parts of today’s tech world.
Lord Jesus, even on the cross, you prayed for the very soldiers carrying out your unfair execution. Grow in me an ever-increasing amount of your spirit as I relate to not only friends, but acquaintances and even enemies. Amen.
I paced back and forth in my living room, reviewing a million things I could write. I picked up my phone, looked at the social media post, and then slammed my phone back down again onto the counter. More pacing, more frantic hand gestures, and mumbling under my breath. My cats watched my every move like I was a bird in flight, not sure if mommy was playing or about to lose her mind. My old pug, Gracie, accustomed to my reactions by this point, headed to her bed to wait it out. My kids and husband relegated themselves to the upstairs to “give mommy space” (thank you, husband). I was worked up, and the whole house could feel it.
This negative energy came from a social media post I made supporting God loving all people, including our LGBTQ+ neighbors. Then the subsequent backlash of messages I received from some who disagreed. It wasn’t just that these responses were not in the style of a discussion but as an argument or that they were telling me how wrong I was. It was the lack of compassion and love for all humankind used in their words. I wanted to reach through my tech device and shake them to reason. But I suppose that would be a lack of compassion on my part as well.
That’s the thing about tech and social media. It takes away that very human interaction of being face-to-face. When we are safely behind our screens and usernames, we can say what we want, hurt who we wish to, and act as we want, and we might never have to look upon the face of those whose words hurt so profoundly. But, instead, the harassment can run rampant behind phone screens and laptops, and before we know it, something so small has escalated to broken friendships or worse.
I paced a good while, wondering what to write back to someone who said such hateful things about me and those I love. I’m sure I wrote about ten different drafts of my response, but none quite captured my feelings. Finally, I texted a dear friend and told her about the situation to help give me some feedback. Pro tip (I’m not a pro): when you’re heated about something, it’s usually good to talk to a trusted friend before jotting it all on social media for the whole world to see. My friend responded so kindly with words that helped me defuse my situation. She reminded me that comments on a social media platform don’t get to overthrow our emotions and occupy our minds. How we love others in words and deeds is what matters. And it’s also ok to walk away.
So, I did. I shut my phone off, walked away. I never responded to the hurtful words. My best way of blessing someone who harassed me at that moment was to not engage at all. I felt a cloud lift over my house. The tension was gone–even my sweet pug came out of hiding. I was so close to jumping head first into a dark hole of finger pointing, name calling, and hate spewing that steals joy not only from you but from everyone around you. It reminded me of how easily my mind can be conformed to whatever I’m engaging with on social media. My goal is to practice renewing my mind by asking if what I write or promote conveys love or if it will perpetuate hate. My hope is what I write brings joy, not steal it.
* NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 256236-256237). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
* Ortberg, John, Who Is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus. Zondervan. Kindle Edition, chapter 6.