As we gather for worship this Sunday we are mindful of the turmoil that exists in many, many parts of the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with and for those whose circumstances hinder their ability to know and experience the peace and love that God has for them. In worship we do not hide ourselves or isolate ourselves from the chaos and pain of the world, but instead open ourselves to the One who holds us in the midst of it all.
This Sunday we will be finishing up our sermon series – A Window into the Gospels - that has been focusing on the four windows in the sanctuary. Our final window/gospel is the gospel of Matthew. It is the first gospel of the New Testament and provides encouragement and hope to us in the midst of any circumstance that we face.
I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday.
Grace & Peace,
This week's worship information:
Sermon Series: A Window Into the Gospels
Sunday's Message: The Gospel of Matthew
Questions for reflection:
- What “aesthetics” of worship do you find meaningful and why? How aware are you of the four faceted glass windows in the sanctuary? Is there one in particular you enjoy?
- What do you think it means to be “blessed?” How does our culture define being blessed?
- What are the differences between how the culture defines being blessed and how the Bible does? Read the passage from Matthew 5 – what does it mean to be blessed based in these verses?
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
1-2 I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
3-4 He won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel’s
Guardian will never doze or sleep.
5-6 God’s your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.
7-8 God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.