When the riches of the King collide with the sinfulness of humanity, a whole new world is formed. All we have to do is ask for it. In Matthew 5:21-37, Jesus gives us a glimpse of God’s new world. It is a world of relationships. Relationships reveal the interior world of our hearts. In order for God’s new world to be a reality, we must change the string that is threaded from our interior world and into all of our exterior relationships.
When the standard changes, detox is necessary. To fail to detox is to fail to change. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus changes the standard of living. As followers of Christ, our soul must detox in order to accommodate the change. In this section of the sermon, we learn the standard that Jesus changes is that of righteousness. We do not become righteous by our works but by faith in the work Jesus has does for us. In this sermon, we explore what this means for our daily lives.
There are times where detox is necessary for growth and renewal. The Sermon on the Mount is a detox from the old way of living. It is also an introduction into a new way – the way of Christ. This is not something we can merely add to our lives. It is something we must change for. In this sermon, we detox from the spin cycle of independence to the spin cycle of dependence on God and one another.
Epiphany is an anniversary that reminds us of what was true in the past and what is still true in the present: The light of Christ still shines in the darkness. We are called to be his servants of light in the world. If that is who we truly are, then why is our light so hidden by the bushel of darkness? In this sermon, we explore the land of deep darkness – what is and what it does to us. But as we will find out, the land of deep darkness is no match for the light of Christ.
What does it mean to be a servant of the Lord? Sometimes it feels more like an attack from Satan than a mission from God. In this sermon, we are confronted with the reality the call to be God’s servant is a call to suffering innocently. At this moment our purpose collides with God’s purpose. We will attempt to self-serve in the name of God but eventually we all must surrender to the call to be God’s servants of light in the world.
Whatever is at the center of our life is what will shine for others to see. One of the beautiful parts of life is that center of life is always change; from education to career to family to health. We spend so much time centering our identity in these things that when life changes we lose ourselves in the pit of darkness. It is into this darkness that God’s servant, the Light of the World, comes and make us His lighthouse.
The season of Epiphany is a season of light. In this season, we are returning to a familiar children’s song to be our guide. In this first week we are reminded that light always rises in the face of darkness. When light rises, we can too. Sometimes, darkness has to surround us so that the light within us can burst forth. When it does, it has the power to dispel every corner of darkness and transform it into the the light of Christ.
There is a part of Christmas no one talks about, the part that follows Christmas. What happens when it is all over? In Matthew 2:13-23, we reminded that after Christmas was over Joseph and Mary are faced with a many different moves. Through it all, we are reminded that when we go we can go with God. God’s move always work for the best.