This Week at First:
Message, Scripture, Bulletins, & More
Are you zealous for the Lord? Jesus has some strong words for those who have become complacent and not following the ways of God. Our message, based on Isaiah 59:1-9a and Matthew 5:13-20 will be titled “Salt and Light.”
Grace and Peace,
This Week's Scripture Readings
Injustice and Oppression to Be Punished
59 See, the Lord’s arm is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
2 Rather, your iniquities have been barriers
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies;
your tongue mutters wickedness.
4 No one brings suit justly;
no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas; they speak lies,
conceiving mischief and bearing iniquity.
5 They hatch adders’ eggs
and weave the spider’s web;
whoever eats their eggs dies,
and the crushed egg hatches out a viper.
6 Their webs cannot serve as clothing;
they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity,
and deeds of violence are in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil,
and they rush to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
desolation and destruction are in their highways.
8 The way of peace they do not know,
and there is no justice in their ways.
Their roads they have made crooked;
no one who walks in them knows peace.
9 Therefore justice is far from us,
and deliverance does not reach us;
we wait for light, but there is only darkness;
and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
Salt and Light
13 “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.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 People do not light a lamp and put it under the bushel basket; rather, they put it on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 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.
The Law and the Prophets
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter,[a] not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks[b] 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.