Salt and Light and Righteousness Abounding

After Epiphany: The Great Invitation Worship Series Overview

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A

In light of who and what God is blessing and how different that is from what the world and sometimes even the church seems to bless, how do we then live? As salty, light-shining people whose righteousness abounds!


Give everyone a small bag of an interesting salt and a small flashlight as they enter. These will be used later in the service.

“Say So” CCLI #4944016 (Gungor/Houghton)
“This Little Light of Mine” Text, UMH 585; Tune, Africana Hymnal, 4150
“I’ve Got a Robe” Africana Hymnal, 4053
I’ve got salt/shake out my salt, shake it all over God’s heaven
I’ve got light/shine my light, shine it all over God’s heaven
“Say So” (Reprise)


“Bring Forth the Kingdom, ” st 1-2 TFWS 2190
“Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God” UMH 405
“Bring Forth the Kingdom, ” st 3-4 TFWS 2190

Prayer of Illumination

We Would See Jesus, st 3, alt. (Unison speaking, instruments in background)
We would see Jesus on the mountain teaching,
with his disciples listening, gathered round,
while birds and flowers and sky above are preaching
the blessedness which simple trust has found.

So open our eyes and our ears
and all our senses,

and shine in our hearts
that we may know your Word
and your righteousness
and follow where you lead. Amen.


Reading Matthew 5:13-20
During the reading, invite people to taste the salt and shine their lights all around.

Sermon “Righteousness Abounding”

The World Methodist Social Affirmation UMH 886

Prayers of the People Deacon or Lay Prayer Leader
The prayer leader may pause after each ellipsis (...) for silent or spoken responses.

Seasoning God, preserve and strengthen the flavor of your love through us and all with whom we interact:

With our families, friends and neighbors…
With our colleagues at work, school, and play…
With sisters and brothers in Christ in other congregations and denominations, and especially our district superintendent (Name), our conference staff (Names), and our bishop (Name)...

We pray as Jesus taught us:
Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Light of the world, Lord Jesus, shine in and through our hearts and lives, that we may be beacons of your compassion and justice with one another and in witness to all who lead:

With all who are sick and those who care for them…
With all who are being oppressed and those who advocate for them…
With all who are hungry or naked or homeless and those who offer food, clothing and shelter...
With our local, county, state, and federal elected representatives and leaders, especially our mayor (Name), our governor (Name), our state and federal representatives (Names) and our President (Name).
With leaders in government, politics, and corporations around the world…
With the earth and all creatures, and for all who work to sustain our common life...

We pray as Jesus taught us:
Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Spirit of Righteousness, stir up in us, among us, and through us such abundance of goodness, truth, and love, that as others see us in action they can only give glory to you, with the Father and the Son, who taught us to pray:

The Lord’s Prayer


If the World Methodist Social Affirmation or the Lord’s Prayer have been used before the Invitation to the Table, no further confession of sin is necessary, and the Lord’s Prayer is not used at Communion.

Invitation to the Table
Deacon, Worship Leader, or Pastor:
Salty, light-bearing, seekers after righteousness,
all who love Christ and seek peace with one another,
all who know the power of Christ’s forgiving love,
come to this sacrifice of thanksgiving,
this meal at Christ’s own table.
Come as you are.
Come to be changed.
Come, offering peace to one another,
and your gifts to God.

The peace of Christ is exchanged.
The offering is collected.
The table is prepared.

Offertory Music “Let It Be Me” Indigo Girls OR
No Sweeter Name Kari Jobe (CCLI #4447984)
Suggestion: On last choruses, invite the congregation to join, first with the words as printed, then (without printing them) changing“you are” to “we are.”

Great Thanksgiving Pastor

The Light of the world is among us.
Yes, he is.

The Spirit has seasoned us.
We lift our lives and our voices in justice and praise.

Praise our Triune God with me!
Honor and glory and wisdom and might
are yours forever!

Honor and glory and wisdom and might are yours,
Holy Triune God,
Deliverer, Savior, and Lord of all.

Your love illumines the universe.
Your infinity multiplies the colors, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes
with joys that fill our senses beyond all overflowing.
The diversity of your radiance exceeds all knowing.

In awe and love
we join our voices with angels and saints,
martyrs and cherubim,
with those who came before us,
and the generations that will follow,
in words ancient and ever new:

Holy Holy Holy
Lord God of every power,
the universe declares your glory
from everlasting to everlasting.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is Christ who has come in your name.
Hosanna in the highest!

Pure brightness of the Everliving One,
Jesus Christ, holy and blessed,
to you we turn,
before you we bow,
behind you we follow,
with you we go into the world,
salt and light,
fulfilling your law of love
toward God and neighbor,
family and stranger,
enemy and friend.

Lead us, Lord.

You have taught us the way of love
in your life, in your death, and in your rising.
And you have shown us such love
in the meal you first shared with your disciples
on the night you were betrayed.

You took bread and blessed it,
broke it and gave it to them, saying,
Take this now and eat.
This is my body broken for you.
Do this to remember me.

You took the cup of wine and gave thanks,
then passed it to them, saying:
Drink from this, each one of you.
This is my blood for a new covenant
that delivers the world from the power of sin and death.
Do this to remember me.

Obeying his command, Triune God,
and looking for his return at the last day,
we offer here ourselves,
with this bread and this cup,
our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving
for all you have done and will do to save us.

Receive our prayers, our gifts, and us.

Even so, come, Holy Spirit,
upon us and these gifts.
Make them be for us
a sharing in Christ’s body and blood,
and make us, receiving them,
his body for the world.

And make us one:
With you, with each other,
in ministry and mission to the world,
and in joyful anticipation of that day
when we shall feast at the heavenly banquet
of Christ’s final victory.

We give you all the praise and glory,
Holy God,
Source, Sustenance and Crown of All,
now and forever. Amen.

The bread may be broken in silence. When all is ready, the people may be invited to come with a simple gesture.

Music During Communion
“Let Us Be Bread” TFWS 2260
“Let Us Offer to the Father” (“Te Ofrecemos Padre Nuestro”) TFWS 2262
After this song, instrumentalists begin segue to “Salt and Light” or “You Are the Seed”

Thanksgiving after Communion

Eternal One, we give you thanks for this holy mystery
in which you have given yourself to us.
Now send us forth in the strength of the Spirit
to be salt and light,
enlivening and illumining every corner
with your truth and love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Song of Sending “Salt and Light” Ecuyers CCLI # 3470093
“You Are the Seed” (“Sois la Semilla”) UMH 583

Deacon or Pastor
Go forth, salty ones.
Season and shake up the place!

Go forth, beacons of light,
and let God’s love and truth shine.

Go forth all of you,
filled with and practicing God’s righteousness
and make righteousness abound!

Go forth, in the name and power and blessing
of our Triune God,
and draw all kinds of glory to God’s name. Amen.

Postlude “
Salt and Light” (Reprise), or “You are the Seed” (chorus)

In This Series...

The Heavens are Opened — Planning Notes Come and See — Planning Notes Follow Me — Planning Notes #Blessed— Planning Notes Salt and Light and Righteousness Abounding — Planning Notes This, Not That — Planning Notes And Now Your Reward — Planning Notes Shine! — Planning Notes