The Fifth Sunday of Epiphany, 09 Feb 2020, Matthew 5:13-20 ~ “You are the salt of the earth… the light of the world!”

The Fifth Sunday of Epiphany

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

Heavenly Father, you have called your Church to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Give us vigorous faith and a love that is genuine, so that all may see our works and give you the glory.
We pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“Ma Yakar Chasdecha(How Precious Is Your Lovingkindness)” – Praises Of Israel

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Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT)

Teaching about Salt and Light

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
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“Merim Oti(You Lift Me” – Praises Of Israel

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Intercession:

Heavenly Father: Shine the Light of Christ within us into the darkness that surrounds us. We pray especially –

+that your people may generously share their means and resources –

  • providing food for the hungry
  • giving clothes to those who need them
  • providing shelter for the homeless
  • offering help to needy relatives

+ that your people may live just and godly lives –

  • removing all heavy yokes of oppression
  • refraining from finger pointing
  • refusing to spread vicious rumors
  • helping those in trouble

+ that your people may display your power and goodness –

  • healing the sick in body mind and spirit
  • delivering the oppressed from demonic influence
  • reaching unbelievers with the Good News of grace
  • teaching believers to live and love like Jesus

Heavenly Father: you are the light that makes clear our way before us, hear our prayers we ask, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“We are marching in the light of God” – Zingen in de Zomer

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Closing: (Psalm 112:4-7 (NLT)

Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
They conduct their business fairly.
Such people will not be overcome by evil.
They do not fear bad news.
They confidently trust the Lord to care for them.

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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Monday Morning: 19 Aug 2019 – Matthew 5:1-16 ~ Jesus’ Teaching: on blessing and visibility

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for the Renewal of Life – Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 5:1-16 (NLT)

The Sermon on the Mount

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

  • “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
  • God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
  • God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
  • God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
  • God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
  • God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Teaching about Salt and Light

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
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Morning Reflection:

Jesus’ Teaching: on blessing and visibility

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

– Matthew 5:3 –

In Chapter 4, Matthew recorded the launch of Jesus’ ministry – from overcoming temptation to announcing the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Jesus preaching, accompanied by miraculous healings, attracted a large following. So Jesus decided to sit them all down and explain what it means to turn away from sin and turn to God – what it means to live as a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Matthew presents Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Chapters 5-7) beginning with the Beatitudes.

The Beatitudes describe the character of those who will receive God’s blessing in God’s Kingdom – they are an attitude check for every believer – toward ourselves, toward our sins, toward God, and toward the world.

+ the poor in spirit – are those who recognize their personal unworthiness to stand in God’s presence and who depend utterly on Him for His mercy and grace. Recognition of our own spiritual bankruptcy is the prerequisite for receiving Kingdom joy.

+ those who mourn – do so because they sense their spiritual bankruptcy. It’s an expression of genuine sorrow and humiliation over our sin that leads to repentance and the comfort of God’s forgiveness.

+ those who are humble – are gentle in their dealings with others, and unpretentious in their lifestyle. The humble are heirs of the God’s Kingdom – receiving a promissory portion of their inheritance in this world, and their full inheritance in the world to come.

+ those who hunger and thirst for justice – are those who seek holiness, or godliness, not only for themselves but also for the society in which they live. It involves working and praying for the revival and renewal of society’s sinfulness.

+ those who are merciful – forgive the guilty and have compassion on the needy and the suffering. Mercy involves receiving God’s loving-kindness when we don’t deserve it. Merciful people give to others what they themselves have received from God.

+ those whose hearts are pure – are those who are single-minded in their devotion to God; it includes freedom from hypocrisy. Those with clean hearts can look forward to seeing God in the person of Messiah when He reigns on the earth.

+ those who work for peace – replicate Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation bringing people together with God and one another. It is not simply the absence of war, or cessation of hostilities; it is a reconciliation rooted in the cross of Christ – the Prince of Peace.

+ those who are persecuted for doing right – replicate Jesus’ ministry of suffering. The world does not give up its hates and self-centered living easily. Those who live rightly in God’s eyes become targets of those living for money, sex, and power – those who have rejected God’s rule and reign in their lives.

Questions for consideration:

  • Jesus concludes this portion of the Sermon on the Mount with the instruction to display what we believe – you are light and salt. In light of his teaching on Kingdom blessings, what is God calling you to say or do? Where do you need an attitude check, a change in your thinking or lifestyle. Please explain.
  • Where do you need God’s help to live a blessed life? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: On living the Beatitudes

Sovereign Lord:  Thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ, who died that I might live – a full, satisfying life, now and forever. Empower me by your life-giving Word and Spirit to reflect his attitudes and, in so doing, receive your blessing.

+ Help me to recognize my spiritual poverty, apart from you I am, or can do, nothing…
+ Help me to mourn my sins, and be comforted by your unfailing love and forgiveness…
+ Help me to live humbly and find strength in weakness and power in vulnerability…
+ Help me to desire truth and justice, not simply for myself but for all people…
+ Help me to be a merciful friend to those who have failed you…
+ Help me to remain focused on Jesus, to be pure in heart, to view life from his perspective…
+ Help me to be a reconciler, to look for the best in others and bring them to Jesus…
+ Help me to be fearless, unafraid of what others think or say about me, that I might rejoice in the honor of standing for your restorative justice and rightness.

Sovereign Lord: Change my attitudes and give me the heart and mind of Christ, for apart from his love, mercy, and grace I can do nothing. I ask this in Jesus’ name who lives and reigns with you, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen.
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“The Beatitudes” – Hillsong

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Daily Reading: 13 June – The Teachings of Jesus – Sermon on the Mount (Part I) – Matthew 5:1-6:4

Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

E100:12.a – The Teachings of Jesus

Sermon on the Mount (Part I) – Matthew 5:1-6:4 (NLT)

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5  One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

The Sermon on the Mount Carl Bloch, 1890 Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle Bjergprædiken, Denmark
The Sermon on the Mount
Carl Bloch, 1890
Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle
Bjergprædiken, Denmark

Teaching about Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Teaching about the Law

17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Teaching about Anger

21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

25 “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

Teaching about Adultery

27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Teaching about Divorce

31 “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ 32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

Teaching about Vows

33 “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ 34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. 35 And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36 Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

Christ crowned with thorns Anthony van Dyck, c. 1620 Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Christ crowned with thorns
Anthony van Dyck, c. 1620
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Teaching about Revenge

38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

Teaching about Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Teaching about Giving to the Needy

Matthew 6  “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

“Beatitudes” – Lydia Shaw (Bethel Church)

Dialogued Prayer on the Beatitudes

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Keep us from being preoccupied with money and worldly goods, and with trying to increase them at the expense of justice.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Help us not to be ruthless with one another, and to eliminate the discord and violence that exists in the world around us.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Give us patience under our own burdens and concern about the burdens of others.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be filled.” Make us thirst for you, the fountain of all holiness, and actively spread your influence in our private lives and in society.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Grant that we may be quick to forgive and slow to condemn.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.” Free us from our senses and our evil desires, and fix our eyes on you.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” Aid us to make peace in our families, in our country, and in the world.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice, for the kingdom of heaven in theirs.” Make us willing to suffer for the sake of right rather than to practice injustice, discrimination or oppression of our neighbors.

Closing Sentence

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
– 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!