|"The Sermon on the Mount"|
by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1877.
This is one of the geniuses of Christianity. In fact, Methodism was founded around small covenant groups that helped keep Christians accountable. Christian community ideally helps its members grow in the faith as they journey together.
Within worship, we are entering the season of Epiphany which will last until Lent. This will be eight Sundays which will get us through Ash Wednesday which occurs on March 1 this year.
Since Epiphany is a season which emphasizes shining the light of Christ to the world, I thought it would be helpful to explore the Sermon on the Mount. We are currently in Year A of the lectionary which features Matthew's gospel. The Sermon on the Mount starts with chapter 5 of Matthew and then continues in chapters 6 and 7. It is some of the most challenging material in the Bible and some interpret it as only to be observed by monastic orders. Since we are under the priesthood of all believers, I see it as applying to all Christians.
We'll be dividing it in the following schedule:
January 8 The Beatitudes Matthew 5:1-12
January 15 The Law Matthew 5:13-20
January 22 Reconciliation Matthew 5:21-26
January 29 Vows Matthew 5:27-37
February 5 Love Your Enemies Matthew 5:38-48
February 12 Integrity in Faith Matthew 6:1-18
February 19 Anxiety Matthew 6:19-34
February 26 Judgment Matthew 7:1-12
Then we will finish the series on Ash Wednesday:
March 1 Follow Through Matthew 7:13-29
I hope that this will help us in our spiritual growth as we start this new year together. It will at least get us through the end of February before we start to slide!
This Sunday, we'll begin with the Beatitudes. We could all use a little blessing although we may wonder if we fit into these various categories or if we would even want to fit. Join us as we begin to interpret this most important teaching of our Lord!