SERVICE SUMMARY: Authority can be a difficult word to hear in our modern context. Abuses of authority abound, but examples of authority wielded correctly are rare. We often prefer to be the one with authority rather than the one under authority. What would it look like to be under the authority of someone you could trust? Join us this Sunday as we begin a sermon series on Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount.
As Jesus Christ is God’s comforting pronouncement of the forgiveness of all our sins, so, with equal seriousness, he is also God’s vigorous announcement of his claim upon our whole life. Through him there comes to us joyful liberation from the godless ties of this world for free, grateful service to his creatures.
—The Barmen Declaration
When people say they really love [the sermon on the mount] … it is a clear sign that they have never actually read the sermon on the mount.
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
3 And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
4 Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from afar,
and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
5 Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and exult,
because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
6 A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord.
Matthew 5:17–20; 7:28–29
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
CONFESSION OF SIN
Jesus, Light of the World,
we confess that we have sinned against you.
We set aside your teaching because it seems too difficult.
Instead of following you we choose to walk in darkness.
Forgive our sins and remove the veil of darkness from our lives. Amen.
SONG TO CONSIDER