“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Today marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. I was just a kid in grade school and it shattered our world. It seemed after that the world became more violent and more dangerous, even though I know it was my own perception. We were like lost sheep wandering around with unbelievable pictures in our head, undone by loss and total disbelief. From that point on it seems, assassination became the way of life for a time. Instead of a world that sought out the lost, and love and care taking precedence, violence and fear seemed to get the upper hand. It seems that we loosed violence on the earth.
Jesus is conversing with his disciples about how God cares for us, and how we are expected to care for one another. He was facing his own violent death and was trying to prepare them for that. He wanted them to be react differently, he wanted them to not return violence for violence, putting the care of others first. He suggests that even when having legal disputes we should take these on with dignity and humility. In a world bent on winning through violence God invites us today to rededicate our lives to seeking the lost sheep and seeking peace with one another.
Today I ask God to help me dedicate my life this day to the lost sheep and to those who need to be set free. May our words and actions be gentle despite the world's anger and violence, and may God use us to bind the wounds of those who have been lost. May healing and peace be the order of the day.