Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 9, 2014 - Fifth Sunday of Epiphany

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for February 9th: Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 112: 1-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; Matthew 5:13-20; Theme: Put Discipleship in action; Song: Guide My Feet – FWS 2208 1 Corinthians: This is the age of distrust of pastors. There have been a lot whom lay people feel have misled them. That makes it difficult for those who come after them. Apparently things have not changed much since Paul’s time. There were other preachers who came to Corinth, but they did not have the best interest of the Corinth community at heart. So before Paul can teach them about what it means to be community, a church; Paul has to undo the damage. He has to tell them what it means to really be a preacher. The Greeks place an importance on wisdom. But Paul tells us that the wisdom of God and the wisdom of people are not the same. The wisdom of God is not a mystery. You come to understand God, with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit leads us to the mind of Christ in the word. If we want to understand God, we have to understand Jesus. If you want to understand Jesus, you have to read the New Testament. It is the Spirit that helps you to live according to it. Paul is leading the Corinthians to understand what it truly means to understand Christ. We learn not through our own thinking but through obedience to word. Matthew: This is a continuation of the sermon on the mount. Jesus is speaking specifically to those who want to be his disciples. He taught us what it means to be a Christian. The type of character we need to have. Now he is encouraging us to put our faith into action. To be the salt of the earth. It is our actions that truly make a difference in the destiny of mankind. Our lives are no longer about ourselves, it is about what we do for the world. What we do for the world, is what we do on behalf of Jesus. A light is not hidden, it is put on a pedestal so that everyone else can see. When we decide to become disciples, our actions are put before the rest of the world. People see Jesus , based on what they think of us. the message is that we should be present to make a difference. Show the world that there is hope to change things. Questions: What is the wisdom of Christ? How do you experience it? How do you use it? How do you know that a preacher is authentic and has a relationship with God? Do you want to change the world, or just follow along? How does your faith make you stand out from the rest of the world? What does it mean to be a disciple? It is hard work?

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