May 17, 2020
We’re back to the book of Matthew for week 13 of our the series, continuing in the Sermon on the Mount.
We’re also still in the season of Eastertide, the “Great Fifty Days” between Lent and Pentecost. If you’re saying to yourself, “I still don’t know what Eastertide is!”, visit The Christian Year, our artistic accompaniment to the church calendar, for a short explanation and some music, art, and written prayer for the season.
A note for parents in regards to this Sunday’s content:
This week we discuss Jesus and the topic of lust. If your children have not been introduced to the subjects and realities of sexuality, lust, or pornography, consider being prepared in advance of this week’s sermon to have them set up with some other resources for learning and worship. Here is this week’s Kids’ Sunday Worship page!
Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:
1. Read our text, Matthew 5:27–30.
Even with the shifting ethics in American culture, marital unfaithfulness is still generally discouraged. Lust, however, is considered virtually unavoidable. For this culture—and for the original audience—Jesus’ teaching about lust is both radical and incisive. He takes the seventh commandment, “do not commit adultery,” and addresses the deeper heart issue behind it. To lust after someone who is not your spouse is to commit adultery in your heart. Jesus treats this with extreme gravity, using hyperbolic images to prescribe radical measures for eliminating such a destructive sin. Here again, Jesus is trying to show His people that moral conformity and behavioral modification is an inadequate path to the flourishing life that He wants for His people.
However, the command itself has no power to transform the human heart. Jesus alone can transform bent hearts. He alone can wash away shame. He alone can give the power to pursue a life of purity, faithfulness, and love.
2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:
Don’t have Spotify? Click the song title below to see song on YouTube.
CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 145:8–10
CONFESSION OF SIN: Psalm 51:1–3, 9–10
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 John 1:7–9
PASSING THE PEACE
(Click to Read)
When we’ve met as a large group on Sundays, we’ve always had a time of greeting one another after singing. Many churches call this time “passing the peace.” In some church traditions, one person will say to another, “The peace of Christ be with you” to which the other person responds, “And also with you.”
While potentially unfamiliar for some, we felt that “passing the peace” during greeting times at home could be a powerful act in this age marked by very little external peace. In Isaiah 9, Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace. He wants His kingdom to be marked by this very peace! We want to “pass” to one another this peace that only Jesus can give, especially at a time like this.
It might feel a bit cheesy, but we encourage you to actually pray the peace of God over each other during our times. We encourage you to look into each other’s eyes as you say, “The peace of Christ be with you!” and have others respond with, “And also with you.” Be open-hearted to Jesus, asking Him to fill you with His peace.
SERMON & COMMUNION
His Mercy Is More (Matt Boswell, Matt Papa)