WORSHIP TOGETHER | Sunday 1-29-2023

Jan 23, 2023 | General Presbyter & Stated Clerk, Resources, Worship Together, Worship Together Front Page

Sunday, January 29, 2023

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
4th Sunday after Epiphany

The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
– First Reading: Micah 6:1-8
– Psalm 15
– Second Reading: I Corinthians 1:18-31
– Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-2

The liturgical color for the day is: Green

The Micah lesson and the Epistle lesson both lend themselves to preaching that helps us to put in context our relationship before God and God’s priorities for us.  The Gospel lesson does that with absolute excellence. 

The Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7 in Matthew), in the words of Bruce Metzger, “sounds the keynote of the new age that Jesus came to introduce.”  To put it another way—it is the Major League Playoffs of the game of the Christian life.

In the lesson for the day, the Beatitudes, we get a glimpse of the quality of life to which God calls the covenant community.  As the players on the field, we are to notice where the ball is and how it is in play. 

Those scoring points are not the powerful, the wealthy, those who out-think or out-smart others.  No.  We see a whole different world from the world that has been.  A new game is beginning and being ushered in.  In this one the ones who are making strides are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, the hungry, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the ones persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

How are we on this grand field in this game of living in the Christian life?  Do we still toss the ball to the rich and powerful, or are we placing it in the hands of the poor in spirit, the merciful, the meek, and the like?

In Jesus it is clear where God’s attention is turned.  The REAL players are not the ones featured on our big screen televisions.  The real players are the ones Jesus calls “blessed” here in Chapter of 5 of Matthew.  Our play, and the ball is in our hands, is to bless such ones in the same manner that Jesus proclaims. 

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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