We Are All About God’s Grace for God’s People

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JANUARY AT CHRIST THE KING LUTHERAN CHURCH

Matthew 5:1-2 – “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them…”

Over the next four weeks at Christ the King we’ll be focusing on one of Jesus’ most cherished teaching moments: The Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew’s gospel, chapters 5 through 7, Jesus unpacks what the kingdom of heaven and it’s citizens are all about. Jesus begins the sermon with blessing upon blessing. This is in stark contrast to when God, using Moses, instituted the covenant at Mount Sinai (what we often refer to as the Old Covenant) with the Hebrew people. In the Old Covenant, what first was spoken after the covenant was agreed to was a warning: “If you don’t obey…..there will be consequences!” It was an act of God’s favor that He chose the Hebrew people, but the Lord also had high expectations for them. In the New Covenant, initiated and fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus, the Father’s beloved Son, this new (or renewed) relationship of God with a chosen people begins with God’s grace, is supported by God’s grace, and will be consummated by God’s grace. “Blessed are…” are the first words of the new covenant. “Blessed are they…blessed are you…” It starts with blessing.

As the sermon continues, Jesus unpacks the true meaning and intent of God’s Law. But before we can make sense of what God expects of us in His Holy Law, He first says we are blessed. Blessed because God says so! Blessed because that is what God loves to do! Blessed because through being blessed, our lives are turned upside down. Instead of a bunch of “have to’s” we have now a bunch of “get to’s.” Salvation is secured. Eternal blessing is pronounced. What will you do with that awesome gift? Or better: What won’t you do knowing you’ve been blessed by God through His Son and empowered by His Holy Spirit? Martin Luther calls this the paradoxical freedom of the Christian. Luther writes in On the Freedom of a Christian“A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”

Here also is a link to one of my favorite Bible/Theology sites, White Horse Inn, and their intro to the Sermon on the Mount

Because you’ve been blessed, may the Lord use you for His glory and building of His kingdom!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chris

This Week at Christ the King:
Monday, January 23rd – ALL ANNUAL REPORTS DUE TODAY
5 PM Bay Area Campus Ministry Dinner Serving
Tuesday, January 24th – 7:30 PM Men’s Dartball
Wednesday, January 25th – 9 AM Quilting
9:30 AM Bible Study (Hosea 11-14)
7 PM Bible Study(Jonah 4)
Thursday, January 26th – 10 AM Coffee with the Staff
11:30 AM – Thursday Theology: Mere Christianity (Book 3, chapters 3 & 4)
Saturday, January 28th – 5 PM Worship with Holy Communion
Sunday, January 29th – 9 AM Faith Formation (Sunday School/Confirmation)
10:30 AM Worship with Holy Communion

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Worship
Weekend Worship is at
5 p.m. on Saturdays
and
10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
Communion is celebrated at every service and a staffed nursery is available during the 10:30 worship

Youth Faith Formation
(Confirmation)
(Sunday School)
Every Sunday from
9:00 – 10:15 am

Office:
Christ the King Lutheran Church
1230 N. 18th St.
Escanaba, Michigan
Phone: 906-786-7400

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