The Scripture reading for Sunday continues the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel According to Matthew 5:13-20. Our focus is on two of the most well-known verses, “You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world.” To us they are familiar, for they have been taken out of context and misapplied, becoming the foundational text for the fledgling United States, promoting the idea of our country as “the city on a hill” and forging the way for Manifest Destiny. These verses have become standard in American politics – former President Ronald Reagan often referred to them in his speeches. But, whereas the American government promotes the idea of the Empire of America with this Scripture – at least, the first part of it – Jesus uses it to speak to those to whom he refers in the preceding verses of the Beatitudes, which we discussed last week. Jesus tells the “rag-tag hordes of hungry people” (Pulpit Fiction Podcast, Episode 364 for February 9, 2020, Epiphany 5A) that they are special, important, valuable, just as salt and light are! They are not useless; rather, they are blessed! How does it feel to be told that you are as valuable as salt, as necessary as light? Is there such a thing as too much salt, or too much light? I invite you to consider these questions in preparation for Sunday’s message, which will tie in with the Clergy Letter Project’s Evolution Sunday, “designed to demonstrate that religion and science can be compatible and to elevate the quality of the debate of this issue” (http://www.theclergyletterproject.org/rel_evol_sun.htm).
Order of Worship
The Order of Worship is available below. It may take a moment to load (these are large files). You may download the file by using the button at the bottom (may need to use your Google Chrome browser).Worship-Bulletin-02-09-2020-1