Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Tuesday, August 18

Today’s Readings: Psalm 122; 2 Samuel 21:1-22; Mark 11:12-19; Acts 27:27-32; Psalm 48

Nine years ago, I travelled with a group of seminary students to Cleveland, OH to attend a world-wide gathering of United Methodists called General Conference. The gathering was dealing with several controversial proposals so the seminary organizers asked one of our pastoral care professors to spend a little time with us to help us get emotionally and spiritually ready for the contentious situation. In getting us ready for General Conference, the professor said something interesting. She said that the level of emotion we could anticipate would be very great indeed. “Those levels are so intense,” she said, “because of what we are taught about church. We’re taught that in church it is inappropriate to have emotions. However, as human beings we have emotions. This forces us to either stuff those emotions or pretend they don’t exist. That works for awhile, but eventually,” she continued, “they bubble to the surface and get expressed – often in really big ways since they’ve been stuffed/denied for so long. You can make the experience at the gathering better if you ignore what you’ve been told about how to act in church and experience you emotions openly and honestly as they happen.” That advice helped us greatly. Not only were those words psychologically helpful, they were also biblical – for in today’s passage from Mark we are given not one but two examples of how Jesus was in touch with his emotions. When Jesus encountered the fig tree and found it bare when he was hungry, what did he do? He did a very un-Christlike (but very human) thing: he cursed it. And when Jesus saw the moneylenders in the Temple – making a mockery of the values he associated with God – how did he react? He got angry. In other words, Jesus was in touch with his emotions and expressed them. Today, I would invite you to explore the way you deal with emotions. Do you follow the instructions of your elders when you were young and subvert/ignore your emotions, or are you able to be in touch with your and express them? Til next time…

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