Isn't it amazing that, even in the midst of talking about what to do with difficult people, Jesus never loses sight of the open arms of God's welcome? His focus is not on how to punish someone who has wronged another, but on how to restore them. "If the member listens to you, you have regained that one." Even in the worst case, he suggests to treat them like a Gentile or Tax Collector. How did Jesus treat Gentiles and Tax Collectors? He talked with them, ate with them, and made every effort to show that God's grace extends to them.
Let us pray.
Loving, gracious God, we thank you that Jesus opened the way for us. We thank you for these symbols of bread and cup that remind us of how much you love us, even when we are difficult. Soften our hearts to our brothers and sisters who may have wronged us and help us to extend to grace you have given us. As we take these symbols of your body and blood into us, help us to become more like you and truly represent you where we are.
In Jesus name, AMEN