Pastor's Corner
Reverend Patrick Evans, Senior Pastor

Pastors Corner
Helping One Another

You may know of some things in your life that upset you. I know there are things that set me off. One
in particular is when team members do not support one another. That really upsets me. If we decide to be
on a team, one of the things we should accept is to help one another. Yet, often teamwork breaks down. It
can break down because we don't have each other's back. All too often, we get an attitude; we get hurt; or
we just don't like someone.

However, a team is not about the individual. A team is about the whole. So anytime we are on a team
we must sacrifice what might be best for the individual. We must set aside our own agenda. This is hard.
Selfishness crawls in, and it breaks down the team. Then we are just a group of loosely affiliated people,
held together by self-interest.

This happens in sports teams, businesses, churches, civic organizations, clubs and governments.
Sports teams and businesses spend millions of dollars to develop teams. They bring in consultants and
have meetings. Businesses have retreats to form teams. This is a big deal.

Why is it so hard to be team oriented? That's easy. Sin! The problem is the self-centered nature of sin.
It is our brain telling us, "it is all about me!" How about that? Sin wreaking havoc! Jesus took the concept
of team to another level. He gave us a commandment to view all of the human race on the same team.
When I first hear that as a command, I get a little excited. Here we are being all of one accord and loving
each other. But, the reality of living that out, requires that I die to myself. And that forces me to love, to
care for, to sacrifice for, to give my life away for people not like me. When I am faced with this, I want to
ask, Jesus have you lost your mind? Yet, here it is in red letter in Holy Scripture.

Matthew 5:43-48: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I
tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father
in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the
unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors
doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even
pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Jesus is the highest revelation of the heart of God. He is God in flesh. If I am going to be on Jesus
team, I must take serious his commands. "Love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me." That
sounds hard, and I am not around my enemies often. So, would it be more practical to think. Do enemies
include those at work who stab me in the back and talk trash about me at the water fountain? Does it
include those who betray me? Does it include those who think differently than me, or belong to another
political party?

And of course, we know what Jesus' answer would be. So, while I may be frustrated with the lack of
teamwork, I wonder, is Jesus also frustrated or broken hearted? In a world that wants to divide and
conquer us, God the creator sustainer, calls us to be one. To be a team of people looking to love and heal
a broken world. To be the Kingdom team!

Grace & Peace,
Rev. Patrick Evans