These are the materials for the service on 20 February 2022.
The main Scripture for today is Luke 6:27-38. It’s hard teaching for us to hear from Jesus… The temptation is to regard it as an unattainable counsel of perfection.
The setting used for today is from The Message Translation (rather than our usual New International Version) “just for a change”.
Main scripture for today
Luke 6:27-38 (The Message)
27-30 “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the supple moves of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more payback. Live generously.
31-34 “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
35-36 “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.
37-38 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
“Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” by Sebastian Temple was written in 1967. It has appeared in twenty-six hymnals. It is a musical setting of the well-known Prayer of Saint Francis of Assissi. This prayer has frequently been used during times of war to encourage peace throughout the world. It is also very much a prayer for our world today.
The text of this prayer is about transformation—the movement away from darkness to light, from despair to hope. The words of this prayer also have similarities to the writings of the prophet Isaiah in Chapter 61 .
This beautiful performance of Make Me a Channel of Your Peace is arranged by Mark Hayes and is sung by David Michael Moote and accompanied on piano by Elaine Choi.
You can find a previous, similar version of today’s sermon on this website here.