After a life of 30 years being Protestant (with years of parochial schools), with an Episcopalian Great-Uncle Priest always sitting at the head of the table for Holidays and lots of Sunday dinners, we were Catholic for 5 years before moving, and joining the Anglican Church for the last 11 years. When I used to tell our priest how I liked his sermon, he used to reply, "I'm just teaching myself." After having a spate of grumpiness, this one is another one for "I'm just teaching myself."
My friend Dee sat next to me today at Needlepoint and said she hadn't enjoyed her last Ray Vander Laan bible study because it made her unhappy. A most unusual response. Why? Ray (we all like) said the Children of Israel were grumpy. And Dee said she could understand why. The video showed the well in the desert where the Israelis were tired of wandering in the dry and the heat, without shelter, without food, and without water. Dee said she Knew she'd be Grumpy. And she felt bad.
I didn't feel bad. No, not the one having the "cross your path and I'll be speaking to you week." After wanting to chew out 6 people in 3 days, I realized I am grumpy. Bone Deep Grumpy. Spring Break / College Students who Whine, Stay-cation versus Slump-cation Grumpy. I'll give you - Israel in the Desert - Week.
So.... here is the passage I looked up on anger. 113 times angry is mentioned and 268 for anger. 1200 pages in the King James Version.
Max McLean Audio Bible, English Standard Version
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? [the lower parts of the earth?] 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds [pastors] and teachers, [the shepherd-teachers] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, [to a full-grown man] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
I rather like the earnest way this passage is read. Sort of like the way I speak to my sons before I really wind up, but they should know I am ... serious. Rather like the black and white billboards that are messages.
Anger is an emotion. Emotion finds it difficult to sit still and learn. What did you hear (regardless of your emotions right this minute, you are probably not even irritated)?
Without looking back, I heard: I am a new creation in Jesus Christ. Not allowed to be tossed to and fro with emotions. To remember I have been forgiven for a multitude of little petty selfishnesses and for the things that embarrass me. For the things that shame me. I am called to listen to God. Speaking the truth in Love will be the phrase that will carry me through.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He didn't slap hands away and tell them to leave Him alone for a moment to think. He did not put a noose of truth around someone and tell them it was for their own good. Jesus never did learn how to lasso.
Just maybe, I am called to remember the Children of Israel were seriously thirsty, hungry, bewildered in the Exodus. I am not even at that point. And remember life does not circle me. Precious, chosen, special, planned for, name in the book of life does not mean... me, me, me and more me. God is for me. I need to remember it is for Him.
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
He calls us to be part of His one body.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
What am I called to do?
2 Peter 3:18
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.