Epiphany 5 – Let your Light Shine

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Title:Epiphany 5 – Let your Light Shine

 Feb. 5, 2017 (full size gallery)

 

 

Youth was active this Sunday – ushering, participating in a skit for the Souperbowl, greeting, in Sunday School

The readings for this Sunday are here.

This is the day of the Superbowl and for us the Souperbowl. The Village Harvest food distribution is one way we can be a light unto the world.  In Jesus’ usage, the light is not simply to allow others to see whatever they wish but it is for others to witness the acts of justice that Jesus’ followers perform.

The acts of justice are necessary. The food insecurity rate in Virginia is 11.8% but higher in both Caroline (12.6%) and Essex (15.2% counties. There are vulnerable children populations are also of concern. The Virginia food insecurity rate among children is 16% but 17.5% in Caroline.  

The Harvest has done well. It grew 1.4 times among people in 2016 and over 2 times in foods provided.  The Souperbowl collection in both food and goods is to keep the ministry going. It costs approximately $150 monthly to the Northen Neck Food Bank to purchase the produce for the distribution.

We had 50 at the service and raised $125 for the souperbowl and 26 cans of food. Thanks to all.  We had two plays – one the sermon a conversation between Catherine and Wendy at Catherine’s home over bowls of noodles. Then 3 of the youth did a souper bowl skit that taught what it is, why were doing it and to clear up misconceptions. 

Brithdays ! Birthdays! We had serveral – 2 adults and one child – one year old today. 

This was First Sunday Social prepared by Barbara and Becky and included Barbara’s salad, cheese, crakcers, corn casserole, two soups and a dessert table with cakes and cookies.  

The sermon was in the form of a play between Catherine and Wendy. This week – "That’s for sure, so good thing that Jesus spends some time telling the disciples how to BE disciples in real time…" "And so when Jesus was teaching the disciples on the mountain, he gave them some illustrations about how to carry out their work, right?" "He told the disciples, “You are the salt of the earth.” And also light.

"I just keep thinking about St Peter’s. With the belfry up on top, and the cross on top of that, people go by and see that it’s a church. It’s a beautiful building that helps make Port Royal attractive." And the people at St Peter’s are like salt and light in the best sense of the word. They don’t hoard their salt, and they really do carry God’s light into the world when they leave church on Sunday. "I just keep thinking about St Peter’s. With the belfry up on top, and the cross on top of that, people go by and see that it’s a church. It’s a beautiful building that helps make Port Royal attractive."

"Letting go of the things I want to hold on to, so that I can have abundant life….."  Catherine learns to let go of collections of salt and candles that have not been used abundantly. 

The Gospel reading is the second week of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus provided this as an instruction manual that directly addressed the Messianic Jews of Antioch, who found themselves deeply embattled by the Pharisees and Sadducees

As Jesus begins, the audience is apparently his closest disciples (5:1); when he ends, the audience is much broader (7:28). The primary theme of the sermon is righteousness or justice (dikaiosune); the content that follows will give the specifics. Jesus’ teaching opens with the beatitudes (5:3-11).

Matthew follows the Beatitudes from last week, Jan. 29 with two sayings, one on salt and one on light. Salt was used as a purifier of sacrifices (Ezekiel 43:24). The images of both salt and light also described the law. Light also referred to God and to the restored Israel after the exile.  

Verses 17-20 explain Jesus’ relationship to the law. Because of the destruction of the temple, the central authority for Judaism during this period was the law, and Jesus was to be evaluated in relationship to it.

Matthew asserts that a great reversal has taken place: The law is no longer to be the center about which everything revolves. Jesus is the new center, and the law and the prophets must be evaluated in relation to him. That relationship is one not of abolition, but of fulfillment. Matthew sees the law and prophecy as fulfilled in Jesus (11:13). The law pointed forward to, and now finds its meaning in, Jesus.

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