May 24, 2020
It’s Matthew week 14 at Park Church. We’ll continue in the Sermon on the Mount, discussing Jesus and marriage.
Two weeks from now, we begin Christ in the Psalms, our annual summer series. Starting many summers ago, we’ve been going week-by-week, Psalm-by-Psalm, taking them in order from Psalm 1. We’ll start this year’s Christ in the Psalms with a little bit of a milestone—Psalm 100.
As for this Sunday, here’s how you can prepare!
1. Read our text, Matthew 5:31–32.
For many reasons, the topic of divorce is both sensitive and complex, and this instruction from Jesus is not intended to be a comprehensive teaching on the matter. Jesus’ teaching assumes that people understand the Biblical design for marriage—that marriage is to be a lifelong covenant relationship that reflects the faithful and enduring love of God for His people. At the same time, Jesus’ teachings on divorce reflect an understanding of the brokenness in our world by permitting—but not encouraging—divorce in certain scenarios related to infidelity.
The focus of this particular teaching is to confront those who were taking marriage vows lightly. People were distorting Old Testament teachings to justify divorce for almost any reason. Jesus is challenging the people of His Kingdom toward something better: to radically honor and uphold God’s design for marriage as a lifelong covenant relationship so that they might reflect the radical beauty of God’s covenant love for His people.
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 8:1, 3–4
How Majestic (Brian Eichelberger)
CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook:
O gracious and gentle and condescending God,
God of peace, Father of mercy, God of all comfort:
we confess before You the evil of our hearts;
we acknowledge that we are too inclined
toward anger, jealousy, and revenge,
to ambition and pride,
which often give rise to discord and bitter feelings
between others and us.
Too often have we thus both offended and grieved You,
O long-suffering Father.
Forgive us this sin and allow us to enjoy
the blessing you have promised the peacemakers,
who shall be called the children of God.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 Peter 1:3–4
Living Hope (Brian Johnson, Phil Wickham)
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.