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Creative Closing For Ordinary 23 - Year A
by George Hartwell

Written by George Hartwell, 'Creative Closings' provide the preacher and liturgist with a way to lead the congregation to a deeper experience of the message of the selected Revised Common Lectionary text or texts for the day.   'Creative Closings' follow the sermon or homily and most often pick up on the theme of one of the sermons provided on the 'Sermons & Sermon - Lectionary Resources' site (as referenced in the 'the thematic background').   Each Creative Closing can also stand on it's own and might be used as well in a devotional or bible study session.

If this Creative Closing is of use to you please fell free to utilize it, but reproduction electronically or in print requires the author's authorization.   George Hartwell would also like to hear your response to this resource.   You may see George's web site at or write him at

THEMATIC BACKGROUND from: Mending Bridges

READING:  Matthew 18:15-20

KEY VERSE:  Matthew 18:15
	"If another member of the church sins against you, go and
	point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the 
	member listens to you, you have regained that one."
COMMAND:  We are commanded to deal with conflict. We are not
to leave things unresolved even if it takes a confrontation to resolve
it.  We are not to avoid, deny or pretend that there is no issue.

RESPONSE:  The listener needs to make a decision to deal with 
conflict rather than avoiding conflict, denying it or pretending there
is no problem.

We are challenged today to deal directly with conflicts, not to leave 
issues unresolved. Jesus tells us to “Go” and to “Point out the fault 
when the two of you are alone.”  Jesus commands us to be direct, to get 
to the point.
For many of us this challenge pushes us way out of our comfort zone.  We 
are distinctly uncomfortable with conflict or direct confrontation.  We 
may prefer to deal with it by ignoring the conflict, denying the issue
and, perhaps, avoiding the person.  Jesus is asking us to do something 
that we don’t feel like doing.  So this is going to be the topic of our
meditation time. 

Think of a conflict that you are avoiding.  Take a piece of paper and 
write down all the reasons that make sense to you for not dealing directly
with this issue.

Then write down the reasons that make sense to you why you should deal 
with this issue.

Finally give all of your reasoning to Jesus.  Picture yourself sitting
down with Jesus and telling him your reasons.  Then ask Him for his
wisdom.  Then listen.  Write down what you hear, sense or see.  After 
doing this you may find yourself better able to deal directly with issues 
that demand resolution.

copyright - George Hartwell, 2002 
            Page by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 2002 - 2005
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these resources.

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