May 31, 2020
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, where we remember the sending of the promised Holy Spirit. The Spirit is still among us, empowering God’s people. As we celebrate this day, we do so as people still living in its present reality!
This is also week 14 of Matthew, and the final week of Part One of the series. We’ll discuss Jesus & Integrity this week, then turn our attention to the Psalms for the remainder of the summer, returning to Matthew Part Two in the fall.
Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:
1. Read our text, Matthew 5:33–37.
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is His footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
Jesus’ teaching on oaths might seem foreign or even irrelevant to modern readers, but the deeper issue He is addressing is something common to us all. The practice of swearing oaths by a significant person or object was common practice in first century Judaism. It was similar to the practice of swearing by the Bible, but it was used much more widely in their society with a complex set of customs and regulations.
The main issue is that people were using something outside of themselves to try to bolster their reputation or perceived trustworthiness. Jesus is pushing them away from this cultural form of manipulation and toward integrity and honest communication. In our culture, people use things like exaggeration, embellishment, spin, or deception to control or improve their image in any given relationship or scenario. Jesus is saying that this desire to distort reality is not God’s way. It comes from a place of insecurity, and it cultivates deeper isolation and distrust that damages relationships and communities. God’s people can be honest about reality, even when the truth is unpleasant, knowing that Jesus—who already knows our blemishes, failures, weaknesses, and insecurities—still loves us and welcomes us into His Kingdom.
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: Based on Acts 2:17–21:
“God will pour out the Spirit on all flesh,
and our daughters and sons shall prophesy.
Our old ones shall dream dreams,
and our young ones shall see visions,
and all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”
Come, let us call upon the name of the Lord.
Fall Afresh (Jeremy Riddle)
CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook:
You have given us the law of Moses and the teachings of Jesus
to direct us in the way of life.
You offer us Your Holy Spirit
so that we can be born to new life as your children.
Yet, O God, we confess that the ways of death have a strong attraction and that we often succumb to their lure.
Give us the vision and courage to choose and nurture life,
that we may receive Your blessing. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 Corinthians 1:20–22
For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put His seal on us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Doxology (Amen) (Bourgeois, Ken, Owens, Wickham addl. verses JD Raab)
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
Who You Say I Am (Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan)