- Deuteronomy 30:15-20 reminds us that God has given us the freedom to choose – either that which gives life or that which does not. In what ways do you (and your congregation) choose life? In what ways do you (and your congregation) choose death?
- The suggested reading of Sirach 15:15-20 pairs well with the reading from Deuteronomy (and, really, all of the other readings this week). You could use this as an opportunity to introduce your congregation to a book that many churches (especially most Protestant churches) do not utilize in worship settings.
- Psalm 119:1-8 – like the other readings on this Sunday – is focused on God’s Law and following God’s Way. You may want to decorate your worship space with images and items that remind people of the Ten Commandments and the law.
- How do you “walk in the law of the Lord”? Go on a prayer walk around your community. Or, collect new or gently-used shoes for a shelter or other community program.
- The theme of “following God’s Way” is found in practically every one of the suggested readings in the RCL this week. Invite the congregation to participate in a game of “Follow the Leader” as an object lesson.
- Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we aren’t like the people Paul is writing to in 1 Corinthians 3:1-9. We still have a long way to go in our faith, too. And that is especially true when it comes to our working with people from other Christian-faith traditions. This scripture text could inspire you to have an ecumenical worship service.
- Matthew 5:21-37 is a difficult text, so it may be tempting to avoid it altogether. However, the message that God values relationships and reconciliation more than the letter of the law is one that is quite hopeful. Instead of shaming those who are divorced (please be mindful of the reality of things like domestic violence and abuse!), emphasize the value of healthy relationships/friendships/partnerships.
Call to Worship (inspired by Psalm 119:1-8)
True happiness comes from following God’s Way.
Our only delight comes in walking with Christ.
Let us praise our Maker by fixing our vision upon the Lord.
We will offer our praise through faithful action. Let us worship God!
Prayer of Confession (inspired by Matthew 5:21-37)
Holy God, we confess that we are more interested in following rules than we are in following Jesus. Forgive us for the ways we neglect the health of our relationships. Teach us how to reconcile with one another and love as you love.