SERMON NOTES

I was researching bridges and came across a quote from AirForce Magazine – “In time of war, bridges make attractive targets for air attack. They constitute seemingly vulnerable links in the enemy’s lines of communication.”

Photo – Bombing of a bridge in Novi Sad in 99, the second largest city in Serbia/Yugoslavia.

Photo – Draw Bridge

When I think of drawbridge I think about ancient castle with a mote, and security lockdown measures include drawing the bridge up.

Photo – A drawbridge causes a backup. But sometimes with emotions its the backup that causes the drawup. It’s the mental and emotional clutter that causes disconnection and retreat.

>Question of the Day.

WHY DOES IT SEEM LIKE EVERYONE IS ANGRY ALL THE TIME?

Every awful event in the world seems to be recorded and uploaded on the spot, if not LIVE-STREAMED.

Our sacred boxes (personal values) are threatened – we live in the most politically polarized time ever

We are still separated and segregated – it’s likely that most of us don’t have friendships that go beyond our skin color, or how we vote, we don’t talk to each other. We interact with each other, but we don’t hear one another

We live in an US vs THEM culture. Everything is driving us to pick a side. Its easy to point out there and blame “those people” or “culture” or some system, influence, deep state, etc…but what about pointing INWARD and asking “what’s happening in me?”

——

In the Early 1900s, GK Chesterton said,

>“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” 

In our culture today, being a Christian, a bridge builder, a peacemaker, is difficult. It’s muddy, it’s hard, it’s inconvenient. That’s why a lot of people aren’t trying.

Cultural struggles are a result of personal anger and struggles. It’s not what’s wrong “out there” it is what’s wrong “in me”.

If we are gonna change what’s going on out there, then we have to change what’s going on in ourselves.

Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger. Do not give the devil an opportunity”

Unrighteous anger wants pain and punishment, Righteous anger wants redemption and restoration.

Don’t mistake self-righteous anger for righteous anger.

When I see Jesus, I see a man who is angry!

-In Matthew he calls religious leaders snakes

-In Mark he heals on the wrong day and looks at religious leaders with anger

-In Luke and John he turns over tables and whipping people

Jesus gets angry! Why? Because he is a man of love.

When you are a person of love, you WILL get angry about things .

When something you love is threatened, you will get angry.

If you follow the trail of your anger, you will find the treasure of your VALUES.

3 Ways People Deal With Anger

#1 – BOMB THE BRIDGE- 

This is the reactionaty, quick tempered, blow up response. Have you ever been in an environment like this?

     -some of you grew up in a family like this.

     -you could be chillin with your feet on the table, and momma comes in the room and loses it. There is no talking, bridge building, or healthy conversation. It’s all volatile, everyone is outraged all the time, walking on eggshells

     -some of you work in environments like this.

     -unfortunately we all live in a culture like this. Everyone is bombing bridges in the name of “right-ness”

#2 – DRAW THE BRIDGE – 

Leave, Run, Disconnect, Unfriend, End the relationship

Divorce happens because someone, in anger, their bridge is drawn. It’s not the violent treatment, sometimes its the silent treatment.

“They’ll never see their grandkids again” “I’ll never be intimate with him again” “If I come in the house, and she starts, I’ll just sit and not even look at her”

What does Paul say we need to do?

>CROSS THE BRIDGE – 

Why is Paul writing about anger here? Because he’s a church member, writing to church members.

Sometimes, the church can bring out all the anger in you.

Why? Because you start interacting and engaging with people who are very different from you

Ephesians 4:28-29 “The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need. You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

If Christianity is under attack, it still doesn’t give Christians the right to attack.

Our logo is a cross. We don’t get to drop bombs on anyone in the name of righteousness, we DIE for righteousness.

>Ephesians 4:30-31

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk.

BITTERNESS –

-you push it down, but all this stuff comes up in your mind like anger fantasies.

-you picture you telling them off? You see them getting busted? You see them dying?

-you draw the bridge but still hope they get blown up.

ANGER – FEELING INCONVENIENCED

-constantly feeling frustrated bc nothing goes your way

WRATH – DEMANDING YOUR WAY IMMEDIATELY

-the demand for immediate justice

-this could be the rioting downtown, throwing glass bottles filled with gasoline and a flaming rag

-this could the storming of the capitol building

QUARRELING – WHINING & COMPLAINING

SLANDER – JUDGMENTALISM -assuming the worst about someone and then speaking it aloud

Ephesians 4:32

“Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.”

Conclusion

When is the last time you spent some time considering your own dark side?

Do you not realize that YOU are forgiven?

So why aren’t you forgiving?

You can’t cross a bridge when you don’t realize the bridge was originally built FOR you.

God built a bridge to you. The bridge of forgiveness.