Week #5 is Sunday, February 3, 2019 – Narrative Lectionary Story: Matthew 6:7-21, [25-34]
Theme: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be. Jesus teaches us to pray from the heart with an authentic voice. Don’t try to impress or outdo, but pray with honesty and humility. In other words, the real you. Why Jesus? Because Jesus knows your heart.
Video Intro: Jonathan Rose reflects on his journey from Sierra Leone to his home in Minnesota in this video. Even though he left his home church behind, Jesus was with him. Through all of this, Jonathan found that faith is more than a building, faith is found in Jesus. Today, he is active in his new church, serves as a mentor to other immigrants, and is raising his own family. Jonathan’s story is heartfelt . So, why Jesus? Because Jesus knows your heart Check it out!
Confirmation: Check out the Confirmation Material – Because Jesus knows my heart to go along with the video!
Readers Theater on Matthew 6 that can be used in worship instead of the regular reading.
Sunday School Curriculum: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request the curriculum from Epiphany, January 6 thru Transfiguration, March 3.
Music is has been written especially for the Why Jesus? Project, but here are a few suggestions:
- Gathering or Opening Hymn (ELW) #720 –
- Hymn of the Day (ELW) #514 – O Word of God Incarnate or Blessed to Be a Blessing (Why Jesus)
- Communion Hymn – Behold, I Stand at the Door (Why Jesus)
- Sending or Closing Hymn (ELW) #793 – Be Thou My Vision
Here are Music Selections for Each Week
Other Sermon Ideas:
- Which Version? Many congregations struggle to appreciate the 1975 translation of the Lord’s Prayer, and we wonder if we should leapfrog over it to a version with expansive language, such as this: Holy One, our only Home, blessed be your name, may your day dawn, your will be done, here, as in heaven. Feed us today, and forgive us, as we forgive each other. Do not forsake us at the test, but deliver us from evil. For the glory, the power, and the mercy are yours now and forever. Amen.
©2007 Benedictine Women of Madison, Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison, Wisconsin What do we notice when we use a different version of the prayer? Does it increase our faith, or appreciation for God’s work?
- Check out these two articles from Living Lutheran – Dangerous Prayer and the other about Prayer as the Breath of Life.
- Talk about TREASURES in verses 19-20. These verses contrast treasures on earth with treasures in heaven. Do not store up . . . treasures. In Greek the verb and the noun have the same root and can be literally translated as “Do not treasure up treasures.” Meaning a treasure is not only the stored object but also the place of safe keeping – where a treasure is stored is just as critical as the stored object itself. Moth was a symbol of destruction, particularly of clothing (cf. Isaiah 51:8; James 5:2). In the ancient world clothing symbolized wealth and status and was often used as dowry. The Greek word for rust is literally “eating” or “eater.” Rust implies that the hoarded treasure is a precious metal subject to corrosion. Yet, silver and gold do not rust. Some commentators think “worm” might be a better translation, implying that the stored treasure is food. Regardless of the exact figure, the meaning is quite clear. Treasures hoarded on earth, whether food, garments or money, are never secure.
- Thieves break in. The Greek verb literally means “dig through.” Palestinian houses were built with mud bricks, which made it easy for burglars to dig through walls. Read more about this.
- Video Idea(s): Known by Tauren Wells “I’m fully known and loved by You. You won’t let go no matter what I do. And it’s not one or the other. It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace to be known fully known and loved by You. I’m fully known and loved by You”
- Check out The Lord’s Prayer in Swahili.
Props: Simple box decorated with “jewels” or treasure chest, small Bible, felt heart
Welcome to our children’s time! Look at what I have with me today. Show treasure chest. Do you know what this is? It’s a treasure chest! What do you think I might have in here? Allow answers. Our Bible story today has kind of a funny sentence in it. It says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” What do you think that means? Allow answers.
What Jesus means in this lesson is that whatever we think is really important in our life—those things that we truly love and treasure—will be the things that take the biggest place in our hearts. So, what if the thing that I love and treasure the most is my iPad? I have a really great iPad and I need it to work here at the church, so it’s really important … I don’t think that’s a problem, do you? Well, maybe it’s a problem if I spend ALL my time on it. But how about my dog? I really, really love eating donuts, so there can’t be anything wrong with that, right? That’s not healthy? Ok … umm … how about my video games! I really love playing those, and I’m not hurting anyone … ok, maybe I don’t pay attention to my family when I’m doing that.
So, what do you think SHOULD be the most important thing? What do you think should be in my treasure chest? Take out Bible. Jesus says that the most important thing should be God’s word, and learning about and telling others about Jesus. That is pretty important. And when I do that, you know what else is in my treasure chest? Take out felt heart. When I spend my time with Jesus, my heart is also in my treasure chest, because my heart becomes something wonderful. Why Jesus? Because Jesus knows your heart.
Let’s pray: Jesus, thank you for all the gifts that you give us—but help us to remember that the greatest gift is you. Help us to fill our hearts with your story. Amen.
What is the Why Jesus Project? Check out the FAQ on Why Jesus? Home Page.