|Isaiah 58:1-9a [9b-12]; Psalm 112:1-9 ; 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 [13-16]; Matthew 5:13-20|
The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, February 9, 2020 — 5th Sunday after the Epiphany
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)
Salty, Bright, and Good
Isaiah 58:1-9a [9b-12]; Psalm 112:1-9 ; 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 [13-16]; Matthew 5:13-20
You must shed light among your neighbors so that when they see the good you do, they may give praise to your heavenly Father.
Gracious God, we thank you for the light that shone in Jesus, revealing unto us your holiness and our righteousness. We deplore this gap, yet we rejoice that you chased the darkness that kept it hidden from our eyes. By your light we are both encouraged and condemned. We are reassured to see your face turned in our direction, bidding us to come unto you. But we shudder at the sight of us turning our backs on you, resisting the light that could mirror your glory.
We thank you, O God, for leaving your light in the world even though we have not always heeded your summons to become the light of the world. Instead of illuminating your character, we have blurred it. You have commanded us to love you with all our being, but we have consigned our love to the pigeonhole of religion. You have commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but we have been too preoccupied with ourselves to find them. You have called us to be peacemakers, yet we have encouraged the arms makers with our fears and our fortunes. You have summoned us to be wall breakers, yet we have supported the wall makers with our silence and our sympathy. We have seen the light, but we have refused to walk in it.
Yet we long, O Lord, to keep your law and do your will. We ask forgiveness for our rebellion, not merely for the sake of the joy we have denied ourselves, but also for the joy we have denied others. Keep ever before us the needs of the world into which you sent Jesus and for whose sake he gave himself to the uttermost. Let us feel its pain as our own, seek its good as our own, and work for its transformation in the name and spirit of him who came into the world not to condemn but to redeem it.
We listen now, O God, for your word. Let its message illumine our minds that we may will as Jesus willed. Let its spirit quicken our hearts that we may love as Jesus loved. Let its power speed our steps that we may do as Jesus did. Amen.
(Book of Common Prayers)
Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
Creator - Restorer - Ruler: We are prone to point the finger at others and to pervert justice by exaggerated charges. We want the rich to feed the hungry, but not to share from our own provisions. We prefer charity in principle, but in practice evade our duty even to our own kin. Some of us live in half-empty houses while there are families crowded into rooms too small for them, if they have rooms at all. Forgive our failure to live up to the best we know and to let the oppressed go free even after you have freed us. Amen.
Declaration of Pardon
Friends, hear the Good News! Christ nailed to the cross attests the cost of God's love and forgiveness. Our faith is not built on human wisdom, but on the power of God. Believe the Good News! In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
Prayer of the Day
Lord God, with endless mercy you receive the prayers of all who call upon you. By your Spirit show us the things we ought to do, and give us the grace and power to do them, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
The fast that God chooses
1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9a Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
[9b “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.]
Light shines in the darkness
1 Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
2 Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend
who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn will be lifted high in honor.
[10 The wicked will see and be vexed,
they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.]
God’s wisdom revealed through the Spirit
2:1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
[13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.]
Alleluia. Jesus says, I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia. (John 8:12)
The teaching of Christ: salt and light
5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Here end the Lessons
Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
You have called us, O God, to embrace the mission of Jesus as our own. Our sight is not equal to this vision, and our strength is not equal to this task. But you, O Lord, are a merciful God. You give light to those who walk in darkness, and you grant strength to those who carry heavy loads. As we return to the workaday world, let us see your light before us and feel your strength within us. Amen.
Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]
The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Daily Lectionary for SUNDAY, February 9, 2020 — 5th Sunday after the Epiphany
Salty, Bright, and Good
Isaiah 58:1-9a [9b-12]; Psalm 112:1-9 ; 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 [13-16]; Matthew 5:13-20