The Celebration of the Gospel
February 5, 2017 —5th Sunday after the Epiphany
You are the salt of the earth… you are light for the world.
— Matthew 5.13, 14
_____ We Gather as the Body of Christ_____
PRELUDE As The Dew From Heaven Distilling André Van Vliet
[As we listen to the music we quiet our minds and bodies,
listen for our hearts’ deepest desires,
and become present to the Holy One who is lovingly present for us.]
* CALL TO WORSHIP from Psalm 112
[God calls us to live in harmony with the spirit of compassion, which brings justice like light in the darkness. The Psalm reminds us the righteous are those who give to the poor and delight in God’s will. They will be fearless in the face of adversity. They will be light in the darkness for those who hope.]
Leader: Praise God! Happy are those who delight in doing God’s will
All: They are like light in the darkness.
They give generously and lend; they do justice.
They are not cowed by news of evil:
their hearts are firm, secure in God.
Their spirits are steady; they will not back away,
while the wicked fill themselves with worry and anger.
Praise God, who sustains the weak and the needy!
* SONG Praise to you, God, the Almighty
Praise to you, God, the All-Loving, the source of Creation!
Hear my soul praise you, for you are our health and salvation!
All you who hear, now to God’s temple draw near;
join me in glad adoration.
Praise to you, God, who o’er all things so wondrously reigning,
bear us on eagle’s wings, safe in your keeping maintaining.
Love, you enfold all, whose true good you uphold.
Have I not seen your sustaining?
Praise to you, God, for you nourish our life and restore us,
fitting us well for the tasks that are ever before us.
For to our need, you as a mother will speed,
spreading the wings of grace o’er us.
(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIME
_________ We Attend to the Word_________
(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether Harold W. Friedell
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Eternal God, your light created the universe.
Your light shines in us.
Speak the light of your Word to us and re-create us,
that we may be light for the world,
in the spirit of Christ, our Light. Amen.
OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 58.1-10
[God criticizes religiosity that does not lead us to love our neighbor and care for the poor. “You serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress your workers. But real religious observance is to do justice and set people free.” In this your light will shine.]
Day after day my people seek me and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments,
they delight to draw near to God.
They ask, “Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.
Is that the fast that I choose, just to grovel?
Is it to bow down your head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call that a fast,
something God cares for?
Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly.
Your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and God will say, Here I am.
If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
NEW TESTAMENT 1 Corinthians 2.1-12
[The power of our ministry is not in our eloquence or wisdom, but the truth of Christ’s love, and the wisdom of God that transcends our own.]
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. All I know for sure is Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and trepidation. My argument didn’t rest on philosophical wisdom, but it arose from the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
To those who are spiritually mature when we speak of wisdom it is not what the world thinks is wisdom, and certainly not the powerful people—they don’t know a thing about life. But we speak of God’s wisdom, confusing and obscured to them, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Sovereign of glory. But, as it is written,
“No eye has seen, nor ear heard—
no, it hasn’t even dawned on us,
what the Holy One has prepared for those who love God.”
But God has revealed these things to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit knows everything, even the depths of God.
GOSPEL Matthew 5.13-20
[Jesus says we are light for the world, and calls us to live with righteousness not legalistic conformity, but living by the light of God’s desire. Then we will be like a city on a hill that can’t be hidden.]
Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. “You are light for the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks 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 realm of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never experience the realm of heaven.”
SONG Light for the World Steve G-H
Love, may we live by your light.
Let s be light for the world.
1. Jesus, the light of your love shines warm in the dark of our suffering and struggles.
Fill us, we pray, with the light of your grace, that we may shine for others.
2. Those who do justice are light in the dark, light for the wandering, the poor.
Those who do justice shall never be moved, but shine forever more.
3. You are the light, the light of the world. Let God’s light shine in you.
Let your light shine so that others may see, and glorify God.
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
RESPONSE: This is my prayer. All: This is our prayer.
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
________We Share at Christ’s Table ________
OFFERING OUR GIFTS I Love You, Lord Laurie Klein, arr: Fred Bock
* COMMUNION SONG One Bread, One Body Blue hymnal #620
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING Black hymnal # 2257
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
Our Mother, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
SHARING THE HOLY MEAL [Everyone is welcome at the table of Christ’s self-giving love.
The bread is wheat-, soy- and dairy free. We dip the bread in the juice.]
PRAYER OF BLESSING
Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. You have filled us with your loving presence. May your light shine in us that we may do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with you for the sake of the world, in the name and Spirit of Christ. Amen.
____ We Are Sent in Ministry to the World___
* SONG This Little Light of Mine Blue hymnal # 585
* THE BLESSING AND SENDING FORTH
RESPONSE We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.
POSTLUDE Allegro In Classic Style Gordon Young
[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]