This, Not That

After Epiphany: The Great Invitation Worship Series Overview

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A

Jesus continues to offer concrete examples of what life in God’s kingdom does, and doesn’t, look like.


“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” UMH 384
(maybe alternate tune, like HOLY MANNA or FUSIONsmile

“Now Praise the Hidden God of Love” TFWS 2027

“Righteousness, Peace, and Joy” CCLI # 862436
“Knowing You” (All I Once Held Dear) CCLI # 1045238

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.


“More Like You” TFWS 2167
Readers move into place during the singing of this song.

Reading Matthew 5:21-37
(Translation Taylor Burton-Edwards)
Reader 1: (lectern or pulpit)
You have heard that it was said to those of old,

Reader 2: (from the back of the worship space)
Do not commit murder. Whoever commits murder should be tried in a court of law.


Reader 1:
But I say to you,

Anyone who is rageful toward a sister or brother should be tried in a court of law.
And anyone who curses at a sister or brother should be up for a death sentence.
And anyone who shows contempt to a sister or brother should be commended to hellfire.

Reader 3: (from the Lord’s Table)
So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and right there you remember that your sister or brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, and go first to be reconciled with your sister or brother. After that, come and offer your gift.

Come to an agreement with your accusers quickly, while you are walking with them down the road. Otherwise your accusers may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the attendant who will throw you in jail.

Reader 3:
Truly I tell you, you shall not come out of there until you have paid the last penny.

Reader 1:
You have heard that it was said,

Reader 2:
Do not commit adultery.

Reader 1: But I say to you,

Whoever gazes at another’s spouse with desire to have that person sexually has already committed adultery with that person in their heart.

Reader 3:
So if your right eye makes you stumble, remove it and throw it away. It would be better for you to destroy one part of your body than to cast your whole body into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It would be better for you to destroy one part of your body than for your whole body to go to hell.

Reader 1:
And it was said,

Reader 2: Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.

Reader 1: But I say to you,

Congregation: Everyone who divorces a spouse except for reason of sexual immorality by one or both of them forces the other to commit adultery, and whoever marries the spouse so divorced commits adultery.

Reader 1: Again you have heard that it was said to those of old,

Reader 2: Do not swear falsely, but fulfill your vows to the Lord.

Reader 1: But I say to you,

Congregation: Do not swear at all.

Reader 3: Not by heaven, because it is God’s throne.
Nor by earth, for it is God’s footstool.
Not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the Great King.
And do not swear by your own head, because you cannot make a single hair of it white or black.

Congregation: Let your yes be yes, your no, no.

Reader 3: Anything more than this springs from evil.
Readers stay in place for a moment of silence, then return to their places during the singing of the song.

“More Like You” TFWS 2167

Sermon “This, Not That”

Call to Righteousness
See Planning Notes for more detail.

“Lord, I Want to Be a Christian” UMH 402

Prayers of the People
Deacon or Lay Leader or Worship Leader
We have committed ourselves to the way of righteousness Christ has taught us
and the kingdom of God empowers.

In the power of that righteousness,
and overflowing with the love of God,
we are bold to pray:

For the gift of life in every form, for all who care for and seek to preserve it,
and against all forces and practices that support disease, death, and destruction.

Silence (include written list of names of persons active or affected)

Sung: “Hear us, O God” UMH 490

For respect for the dignity and freedom of every human being, for all who build community across every kind of difference,
and against all forces and practices of disrespect, divisiveness, and diversion.
Sung: “Hear us, O God”

Silence (include written list of names, including local, state, national, and international leaders)

For listening, mercy, forgiveness, and hope, for all who demonstrate a commitment to reconciliation that brings justice and peace, increasing the common good, (including our scouting troop and all who work with them)
and against all forces and practices of defensiveness, revenge, and self-centeredness.
Sung: “Hear us, O God”

Silence (include written list of names, including diplomats, counselors, and others who work for reconciliation)

For the loving expression of human affection, including the gifts of sexuality, and for all who model joyous and faithful relationships,
and against all forces and practices of violation, possessiveness, and unfaithfulness.

Sung: “Hear us, O God”

Silence (include written list of anniversaries)

For truth spoken in love in all our relationships with family, friends, neighbors, in work, school, and play, and about leaders and all of our institutions
and against all forces and practices of dissimulation, sidestepping, or misrepresenting the truth.
Sung: “Hear us, O God”


As Jesus taught us, so we pray:

The Lord’s Prayer


As forgiven and reconciled children of God, united in the prayer of Jesus, let us offer our gifts to God for the mission of this community, and signs of reconciliation and love to one another.

The peace of Christ be always with you.
And also with you.

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

Music of Thanksgiving during the Offering “For the Beauty of the Earth” UMH 92

Add this stanza:

For your teachings from the heights,
where you spoke of salt and light,
human love, and blessedness,
going forth in righteousness:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

© 2016 Discipleship Ministries


Song of Sending “Christ for the World We Sing” UMH 568

Deacon or Pastor:
You know the way.
You’ve committed to it.
God has empowered us for it.
It’s this, not that!
So go forth in the strength of the Spirit,
and with one another’s support,
and do it!

Postlude: Reprise of “Love Divine” (variations) or “Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost”

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