January 29, 2023 Sermon

Matthew 5:1–12 Trust in God’s Strength

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Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount with a series of blessings. “Blessed are…” Jesus says, again and again. In the Latin Vulgate, these all begin with the word “beati” which translates as “blessed” or “happy.” Thus, this portion of the sermon is often called “The Beatitudes.” It had to give Jesus’ listeners pause. For what Jesus calls blessed, the world never would. The world praises the strong and the self-sufficient. Jesus calls blessed what others would see as weak or stupid. But, like any good preacher, Jesus is trying to drive home one crucial point. The weaker you are, the more ready you are to rely on God’s strength. The more difficult your present circumstances, the likelier you are to yearn for future reward. All the readings for today teach this truth. We have no real strength or wisdom of our own. But we don’t need it. Because God’s strength is enough to give the kingdom of heaven to the humble and poor in spirit.

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Worship Folder for January 29, 2023

2023-01-29 Grace

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January 22, 2023 Sermon

1 John 2:3–11 Jesus Appears as the Light in the Darkness

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The prophet Isaiah vividly described humanity as “people walking in darkness.” We are completely enveloped by sin and suffering and death. Worse, when we honestly assess the content of our minds and hearts, we find darkness there too. However, the prophet also foretold that within this deep darkness, a light would shine. The light would be so brilliant that it would be impossible to miss. As Jesus began his teaching and preaching ministry, that prophecy was fulfilled. Today Jesus continues to shine his light by preaching repentance and the good news of the nearing kingdom. He invites us to live a life that is illuminated by him. He calls us to walk in the light of love for God and for the brothers and sisters around us. Our Savior is the Light of the world, and so we shine his reflected light onto everyone around us.

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