February 5, 2023: The Be-Attitudes – Let Your Light Shine!

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

Scripture: Isaiah 58:6-12; Psalm 112:1-9

Gospel: Matthew 5:13-20

Reverend Dr. Desi Larson

  • Prelude: “Deep River”, African American Spiritual, arr. by William Arms Fisher; Pauline Olsen, organ
  • Choral Introduction: “Yes, Lord”, by Pepper Choplin; Trinity Singers
    © 1999 by GlorySound, a div. of Shawnee Press, Inc.
    ONE LICENSE A-741127
  • Hymn 71: “Glory Be to the Father (Gloria Patri)”, by Henry W. Greatorex
  • Hymn 2269: “Come Share the Lord”, by Bryan Jeffery Leech
    © 1984, 1987 Fred Bock Music Co.
    ONE LICENSE A-741127
  • Hymn 2174: “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”, African American Spiritual, arr. by Wendell Whalum
    © Estate of Wendell Whalum
  • “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”, African American Spiritual; Pauline Olsen, organ
  • Hymn 95: “Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow,” by Thomas Ken, music attr. to Louis Bourgeois
  • Special Music: “A Call to Silence”, words by Pamela Martin, music by Craig Courtney; Trinity Singers
    © 2003 Beckenhorst Press, Inc.
    ONE LICENSE A-741127
  • Readings from Scripture: Isaiah 58:6-12; Psalm 112:1-9; Neva Smith
  • Gospel: Matthew 5:13-20
  • Sermon: “The Be-Attitudes — Let Your Light Shine!” Pastor Desi Larson
  • Hymn 99: “My Tribute”, by Andraé Crouch
    © 1971 Bud John Songs
    CCLI # 2564464
  • Benediction Song: “Yes, Lord”, by Pepper Choplin
    © 1999 by GlorySound, a div. of Shawnee Press, Inc.
    ONE LICENSE A-741127
  • “Every time I Feel the Spirit”, African-Amerian Spiritual, arr. by William Arms Fisher; Pauline Olsen, organ

Sermon Outline, February 5, 2023

Be-Attitudes Part 2: Be a Light! Be a Blessing!

Key Scriptures

Isaiah 58:8a,10 – Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; [. . . ] if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.

Matthew 5: 13-16 – “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.


New monasticism

Sermon on the Mount: Promises or Commands?

Salt and light
Promises and gifts
Radically inclusive

Why Salt and Light?

Salt is: ____________________, __________________________, __________________________, __________________________,

Light is: ___________________, __________________________, __________________________, __________________________,

Salt and light have lost their preciousness in many ways to the Western world. What might Jesus say to us today if he was talking to us? You are like_________________

How do we shine God’s light onto those around us?

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” (Rev. William L. Watkinson, 19th Century, England)
“Don’t be discouraged by your incapacity to dispel darkness from the world; light your candle and step forward.”(Amma, contemporary Hindu spiritual teacher)
Pema Chodron, a contemporary Buddhist nun, advises people to examine their hearts and words and actions, to see if they are adding to the aggression in the world or adding to the kindness.
John Wesley (The Sermons of John Wesley, Sermon 24: Upon Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount: Discourse Four”)
“Christianity is essentially a social religion; and that to turn it into a solitary religion, is indeed to destroy it.”
“Another necessary branch of true Christianity is peacemaking, or doing of good.”
“It is impossible for any that have it, to conceal the religion of Jesus Christ.”
“Let your light so shine:”
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

What next? Be light!

We do what we know is right. We follow Jesus.
We remember that truth is our currency. We speak, share, and write the truth. Once we shrink from telling the truth, what do we have?
We honor those who are most vulnerable: the poor, the sick, the very young and very old, those with disabilities.
We welcome the immigrant, the refugee, and the stranger as if we were welcoming Jesus himself.
We work for fairness and justice. We lift up people of all races, nationalities, religions, people of different genders.
We live in hope.
We are always listening, always aware that we may be wrong, always looking for the best in those with whom we disagree.
We say—not just to those like us, but especially to those different from us—“we have your back.” (Melissa Bane Sevier, Presbyterian Minister, 2017)