St Andrew Lutheran Church
4420 Center Point Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 393-4021

PENTECOST XIV

The Christian "To Do" List

     Most of us find ourselves needing to make a list from time to time.  Going to the grocery store without a list is like going blindfolded.  As families have been getting youngsters ready for School, supply lists are followed so every student has the necessary tools for the coming school year.  Sometimes a household "to do" list of odds and ends of little chores helps us remember those things that need attention.  But what about a "to do" list for the Christian?

     In the process of looking up a couple of references in the Gospel of Matthew, I scanned several pages.  I continued through Matthew 5, 6, and 7, and would like to invite you on a little journey of discovery through these chapters, where we find most of the foundational teachings of our Lord Jesus. 

     At the beginning of Matthew 5, Jesus goes to a mountain with the disciples and a large crowd following him.  He had been preaching, teaching and healing throughout Galilee, and more and more people were following him.  This section is known as the Sermon on the Mount, and begins with the Beatitudes.  Please read these beautiful words, and the blessing and promise they contain.  Following are many verses that include very familiar sayings, but I have to admit I had not put them into the context of these three chapters for a very long time, if ever.  The Study Bible tells us that Jesus may have said these things at different times, but in Matthew they are to be read as a single sermon.  I can't help but think the Gospel writer put these together in this compact, densely written form to provide his readers with clear, plainly spoken instructions.

     Following the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us we are the salt of the earth, and the light of the world. He speaks about handling anger, adultery, and retaliation, about loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you.  He tells us to give to charity quietly and not publicly, to pray in a private and personal way, and then gives us the Lord's Prayer when we don't have words of our own.  He warns us not to lay up treasures on earth, but in heaven; not to worry, as God will provide; and not to judge others or criticize them. We are given the Golden Rule, told to ask, search and knock, knowing our heavenly Father will give us good things.

      It can be daunting to look at all these dos and don'ts, and frankly wondering how to apply them to our everyday lives.  But remember, Jesus not only tells us how to live, he promises to be present with us, caring for us and helping us in living the lives to which we are called.  This "To Do" list is not a burden, it is a gift, freeing us to be God's presence in the world.


Your friend in Christ,

Mary Rogers
 
Worship Times
Holy Communion
  Saturday 5:30 pm
  Sunday 9:30 am
 A Very Special Sunday, September 13
 
All are welcome to a busy, joyful day starting with worship at 9:30 a.m., followed by a brunch served in Bethsaida Hall, hosted by Learning and Witness Ministry Teams.  This kicks off  the new year of learning and faith formation, as Sunday School and other learning opportunities begin on this day.  After all are fed, inspired, and energized, "God's Work - Our Hands", the ELCA-wide event of community service opportunities will take place.  


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