Hebrews 13 and Matthew 5

Epistle Reading

The reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 13:7-16

Brethren, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their lives, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do goo
d and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Gospel Reading

The reading is from Matthew 5:14-19

The Lord said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Today we do something a bit different, instead of an Epistle reading or a Gospel, we have both; these two passages are so relevant to todays confused culture.

Saint Paul said, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.” By this he means Christ’s words, his teachings, his message is not only timeless—suitable as good wisdom for all time—but also it has not changed. Christ’s message and teachings are the same today as they were during your great great grandparents time; regardless of what many people of today seem to be trying to tell you. Paul went on to say “Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings.” Today we have many teachings that simply are not in the Bible, but none the les they are accepted as if they are gospel themselves. We must vet each and everything we hear on a daily basis; discernment that differentiates strong teachings from weak or false ones is a gift we must pray for.

Jesus said; “You are the light of the world… Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Jesus is trying to say that we should live our lives in such a way that others might see the wisdom in walking as if God is right there standing next to you. None of us would act in an un-Christian manner with God at our side, so why do we when we know he knows and sees all? We must make every effort to set a good example to others, to lead by precept, by walking the walk. Jesus implies that he that does even the least of the commandments and teachings, will be called great in the Kingdom of heaven.

Do you let your light shine unto others?
Do you do even the most least of the commandments and teachings of Christ?

Say this prayer or one of your own:
Father,

I’m so grateful for all that you have done for me, So honored that you would love me, And be mindful of my needs. On my best days,When I am at peace and rest, Confident that You are in charge And that I need not worry,I know how blessed I am. Help me live like this each day; Help me show others that You are there; That You care; That You are always in charge. Let people see by my faith That I have confidence in You;That Your ways are always the best; Always the wisest.

Help me to not be boastful or arrogant; And let pride be far from me, Knowing that this too would be my witness; Pushing those You love away, Rather than drawing them nearer to You. Help me be mindful that whatever I do, Good or bad, It is a reflection on You.

—Amen—

As always;
Go out into the world in peace;
have courage;
hold on to what is good;
return no one evil for evil;
strengthen the fainthearted;
support the weak; help the suffering;
honor everyone; love and serve God;
rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit!

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