Our worship opened with the reminder in the collect that our lives have been set free from sin which separates us from God. We are also reminded that we have abundance which gives us the liberty (or better, the responsibility) to make the promises of Jesus known in community. Our Epistle from today was take from Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. He reminds us that the best way to convey the message of hope is not in lofty words or smooth philosophy. Rather we must point to the immenseness of God’s grace which is ours to receive. The Psalmist sang that those who fear (respect) the Lord will find their true desire. Those who follow after and share the homage of God will likewise receive the benefits promised of old. Our gospel from Matthew’s Beatitudes reminds believers that they are “salt and light,” things which are foundational to life itself, and that we use that foundation to bring hope we will be excluded in the final accounting.
Our sermon was based on the reading from Isaiah in Hebrew Scripture. Isaiah relates the interaction of God and the Israelites (who were struggling) and God calling them to account. Isaiah reminds Israel that they seek justice and offer sacrifices, but those things are not God’s justice nor the sacrifices God covets. God tells us that justice is freedom for all and the sacrifices we offer help us to repair damaged relationships and restore hope throughout our community.
How are you challenged to seek true justice and hope? I invite your comments,
Readings: Isaiah 58:1-10; Psalm 112; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; Matthew 5:13-20
Listen at: https://on.soundcloud.com/csvBr