Monday, October 18, 2021

October 17 Sermon and Announcements



October 17, 2021



Matthews 5:13-16


The verses we read this morning are pretty easy to understand. They talk about things we all either use on a daily basis or, at least when it comes to salt, used to use all the time. We all use lights in our homes. Jesus is comparing us to salt and light. In Jesus’ time, even more than today, salt was important for two reasons. Salt was the primary thing used to make meat especially last for quite a while. There were not restaurants or fast-food places along the roads they travelled every few miles. In addition, you, of course, did not hop into your car, SUV or pickup and drive from town to town. Every trip had its own challenges, so making sure you had enough supplies to make it from town to town was essential. Then, as today, salt also was something used to give vegetables and other foods flavor. So, when Jesus was talking to his disciples, as well as to the others gathered, he was explaining how important we are not only to God and what he is seeking to accomplish, but to society in general. We are being called to lift God’s holy standard up to our world and to those we come into contact with, as well as do the things that need to be done as an example to others. If we will not do that, how will God’s message ever go forward? If the church sits on the sidelines, how will anyone even know what God’s plans or standard for his people will be?


Jesus then says very bluntly that if we are not adding flavor to our world, we are basically useless to God, ourselves, as well as others around us. Once again, what does the 13th verse say? It says “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 by men.” When we look at the very last part of the 13th verse, Jesus seems to be saying that if God’s people will not lift up His holy standard and help others understand it, we may very well be run over by the world. No one will believe anything we say or do. What is motivating us to be the flavor of our world is the question. The Beatitudes reminded us that God’s righteousness is what gives purpose and brings blessings. The 14th verse says, “You are the light of the world.” Jesus then goes on to show real world things that help us understand what he means. Those living in a city use light to see their way and its effects show beyond one’s own home or business. Anyone travelling close to a town knows it is there. Also why do we have lights in our homes? So, we can see what we are doing, to safely do things we would not be able to do otherwise. At times lights also make it so others can find their way to our businesses as well. Jesus is pointing out that God’s people should not be hiding from the world but instead should be visible to all who are lost and need to find their way. We should confidently show all who will see what we believe and why. Our lives have been transformed by God’s love, mercy and grace and we should be willing to let our lives show how we have been changed. Jesus is saying to raise the shades of your life so everyone sees you. Do not try to hide who you are but, in spite of our shortcomings, know we serve a God who loves us and forgives us when we are honest about ourselves. The world, as well as people in our communities are looking to see people who live honest lives and also people who know there is victory through our Savior, which of course is Jesus Christ. In these verses we read today, Jesus is issuing a challenge. God needs men and women who will live honest lives but also lives that show we can have victory over the things that seek to destroy us. We need to honestly point out the source of our strength and that our victory is through Jesus Christ. The title of the message is, “Can you see me now?” Am I the salt and light God needs me to be? Is our church the place of comfort and healing? The place of victory we have been encouraged to be? We must always remember it must always be our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that is our example as we will continue to see in the Sermon on the Mount. At the center of everything is God and His holy and righteous standard. That is the source of our strength. Our love for our Savior and the people in our lives is what should motivate us to fulfill this call. You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Wow! What faith, what trust God gives right back to us. Is that expecting too much of us? Remember Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who give me strength.”



Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday



November 5, 6 District Conference—One delegate still needed


November 10—Board Meeting


November 21—Council meeting after worship


Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you!


Donation Box: Pastor’s Assistance Fund

First Sundays: food donations for food banks


Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362


To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:

Denomination: Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.

District: (click on newsletter link) and on facebook

Our pages: (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook

Keep in Your Prayers

Andy Flenner and family; Mindy Sawyer; Jim (Buck) West; Marlene Schultz; Randy West; Jen Durst; Sarah Rudelick; Sydney (Nancy Gorrell’s niece); Tera Runyan; Carl and Wilma Cable; Marge Starr; Mike Gentry; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Owen Wright; Anna Gentry Thompson; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 700,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren


Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers


Church of the Brethren vision statement:

Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.


Our Mission Statement:

Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace. 




No comments:

Post a Comment