This Week’s Theme
Salt and Light
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declares that those who believe in him are the salt of the earth, preserving its health, and the light of the world, revealing to all God’s truth and will. They are the city on a hill that cannot be hidden, the lamp giving light to all in the house (Matt. 5.13-15). We are to let our light so shine that people may see our good works and give glory to our Father in heaven (v. 16).
Throughout the section of verses from 21-37, he reveals how the church as salt, light, the unhidden city, and the lamp demonstrates its true nature in its relationships, specifically in connection to anger, lust, divorce, and making oaths. As Lord of the Kingdom and Rabbi of God, Jesus not only highlighted the Old Testament truth but broadened and intensified it to reflect the holiness his Kingdom required.
While the Law said you should not murder another person, the King said that hating someone is the same as murder. While the Law said do not commit adultery, the King said that looking lustfully at someone is the same as adultery. While the Law said a man can divorce his wife by giving a letter of divorce, the King said that unlawful divorce and remarriage is the same as adultery. While the Law said you must carry out your oaths, the King said don’t make any vows, but a simple yes or no is sufficient. The Kingdom of God and its righteousness intensifies the Law and reveals a high standard that none can keep without Christ’s forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to those who believe.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Grant us your light, O Lord: that the darkness of our hearts being done away, we may come to the true light, even Christ our Savior, and may prove to be the salt of the earth.
~ Adapted from Sarum Breviary (Water, p. 122)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Friday: Josh. 7-9; 1 Chron. 2.7
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
O God of light,
your searching Spirit reveals and illumines
your presence in creation.
Shine your radiant holiness into our lives,
that we may offer our hands and hearts to your work:
to heal and shelter,
to feed and clothe,
to break every yoke and silence evil tongues. Amen.
~ Revised Common Lectionary Prayers.
Fortress Press, 2002. Digital ed. Loc. 506
Affirmation for the Day
Give me the grace to fulfill your law through your Spirit, not through my own power.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Holy Father, make us true salt and light in this world.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Salt and Light, Matthew 5.21-37
Packer, Knowing God