With God's help, I want to share just a few thoughts about Heather. When we look at this Gospel, which was a favorite Gospel of Heather and of her family, Andrea and Dan, there need to be some things that we're very much aware of.
The first thing is that Jesus, if we really want to understand him, and God, if we really want to understand him, is most understandable in the attitudes and the kinds of directions Jesus seemed to emphasize. We see that Jesus said to us, "It's okay, it's right, it's good, to be angry." Sometimes in the midst of death, you and I are angry, and we need to be. We need to be, so that we can be healed and so that we can be touched by God's Spirit and by God's love for us.
But the Scripture goes on to say that when you are angry, don't sin, don't use it as a justification for sin, and don't let evil grow from that anger. Instead, turn that anger into good. As chaplains, we deal with people every day who experience things in their lives that they can turn either into joy and peace and hope, or they can use to become more angry, more selfish, and more bitter people. And so this afternoon we thank Heather and Dan and Andrea, because they had a choice to make. That choice was either to grow and bless our community through their anger, or to just be angry.
Jesus illustrated in this Gospel, as he has in other Scriptures, that the scribes and Pharisees and sometimes even the disciples were not particularly in tune with his attitudes, his focus, and his desires. In this case Jesus became angry. He said, "What are you doing? You're turning away the children. Don't you realize? Can't you grow up? Won't you open your ears, your heart, your mind? Won't you understand that the kingdom of God is really made ...
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