SERMON TITLE: “A Good Word Avoids Anger, Insults, and Oaths”
SERMON TEXT: Matthew 5:21-26; 33-37
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: August 20, 2017, at First UMC
When I made plans for this sermon series on “A Good Word,” I knew that it would be relevant. Who of us doesn’t need to take more care in the way we speak with our family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors? But it seems like the events of this month are making the relevance of a good word all the more clear. Two weeks ago, we were worrying about the words being spoken back and forth across the Pacific Ocean between Kim Jung Un and President Trump—words that had nuclear implications. Then with the protests and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, there’s been a steady stream of statements—some harshly and hatefully racist, some that rationalized that racism, some that shifted blame, some that condemned the prejudice in our society, and some that called for our leaders to break their complicit silence. If ever we needed a good word, it would be now.
This series is based on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chapter five. Two weeks ago, as we started with the Beatitudes, we saw that a good word begins with a blessing. Last week, as we read verses 13-20, we recognized that—like the purity of salt, the safety of light, and the fulfillment of the law—a good word glorifies God. Today, as we delve deeper into Matthew 5, I invite you to consider Jesus’ wisdom that a good word avoids anger, insults, and oaths.