March 7, 2023
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Of course, there’s a great deal of difference between the time of the writing of these verses and today and we may think they don’t really pertain to us. But I’ve seen it – not often, thankfully – I’ve seen it when two parishioners have an unfortunate clash of ideas and/or wills. Parishioner A tells their friends in the congregation about Parishioner B and how they feel that they have been wronged by B. The same occurs with Parishioner B in regard to A. You see it graphically in the parish hall at coffee hour – Parishioner A and their friends sit at one table over here and Parishioner B and their friends sit at one table way over there and whole church is made aware of this ‘great divide’.
It seems to me that there are enough things in our daily lives trying to separate us from each other to allow this kind of thing in church. If you have an issue with a fellow parishioner that you can’t resolve on your own, don’t tell all your friends about it – go to your priest and ask for his advice. Let him help you make peace. That’s the right way to move forward. We can’t behave as the world behaves; we are called to something higher.