Friday, September 30, 2022 - Devotional from Pastor John Hartman
“Breaking the Cycle of Anger”
There is a great scene in the Star Wars series. It’s actually the sixth episode, the finale called “The Return Of The Jedi.” In that final episode, Luke Skywalker has honed his Jedi skills and is ready to confront his father, Darth Vader, and the evil Emperor. The Emperor senses that Luke has become powerful and could potentially destroy him. And so, he tries to convince Luke to let go of his feelings and give in to his hatred and follow the Dark Side. Luke struggles mightily with this. The temptation to give in to his anger and his hate is strong, especially with the Emperor taunting him and the danger to his friends on the planet below.
So, he ends up fighting a climactic battle with Darth Vader. But instead of giving in to his hate and striking down his father when he has the chance, Luke lowers his light saber proudly telling the Emperor that he is a Jedi and he will not give in to anger or use his powers in a destructive way.
Great movie. But an even more important point. And that is, each day we all face a decision of which way to go, -- to give in to anger and hatred and perpetuate the cycles of violence so prevalent in our world. Or, to choose another way.
The Apostle Paul says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” The answer to anger is Jesus Christ! It’s putting off the old and putting on the new. It is knowing that even at our worst God forgave us, and now commands us to be kind and compassionate and forgiving to each other as well. This is not something we can do on our own. We need Jesus Christ!
This Sunday, October 2, I am continuing my Fall sermon series on the book of Genesis. This Sunday, we will be looking at the story of Cain and Abel. As it is World Communion Sunday, we will also be celebrating around the Lord’s Table. We will be inside the sanctuary for the 8:00 am service, and of course, at 10:30 am. For the 10:30 service, we will also be broadcasting on Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube. See Links below: