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Mar 03, 2019

Show & Tell

Show & Tell

Passage: Matthew 5:13-16

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: The Highest Good

Some of the most liberating (or tyrannizing) words we can ever hear are those telling us who we are. In knowing our identity we begin to grasp our purpose. Jesus’s first words after the Beatitudes tell us we are those who are for this world—and that we are for it in two primary ways.

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: Ephesians 2:8-10
Call To Worship: From Psalm 34
Affirmation of Faith: from Common Order, The Church of Scotland
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 42:5-9
Sermon Title: Show & Tell
Central Text: Matthew 5:13-16
Benediction: Hebrews 13:20-21
Post-Service Text: 1 John 4:19

03.03.2019 Sermon Notes


Never Cry Wolf - Boredom

Penn Jillette - Bible Gift

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: Ephesians 2:8-10
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of
God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created
in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Call To Worship: From Psalm 34
LEADER: I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

ALL: My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.

LEADER: Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

ALL: Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Affirmation of Faith: from Common Order, The Church of Scotland
We believe in God; who has created and is creating,
Who has come to us in Jesus Christ,
To reconcile and make new,
Who works in us and others by his Spirit.

We trust him.
He calls us to be his Church,
To celebrate his presence,
To love and serve others,
To seek justice and resist evil,
To proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
Our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 42:5-9
5 Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”

Central Text: Matthew 5:13-16
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Benediction: Hebrews 13:20-21
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us[b] that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Post-Service Text: 1 John 4:19
19 We love because he first loved us.

Related Scriptures

  • Leviticus 2:13
  • 2 Chronicles 13:5
  • Job 6:6
  • Psalm 66:2, 96:3, 115:1
  • Isaiah 42:6
  • Isaiah 62:2
  • Jeremiah 9:23-24
  • Mark 9:50
  • John 8:12, 9:5
  • Ephesians 2:8-10
  • Philippians 2:14-15
  • 1 John 4:19

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. Imagine 5 people in your workplace, at your school, or on your street. What various answers might they give to the question, “why are we here? What’s our purpose?”
  2. What beneficial things do salt and light do? Why is Jesus choosing those metaphors to speak of our purpose? (And by the way, if Jesus said He was the light of the world, how can He say that we who follow Him are the light of the world?)
  3. What are reasons we might feel inhibited in living as salt and light?
  4. What might be Jesus’s reasons for speaking of salt and light not living according to their respective “purposes”?
  5. What is lost to us if we lose our sense of being salt and light?
  6. Why is believing in the grace of God in Jesus so crucial to living as those who are salt and light for God’s world?
  7. What preserves our saltiness? What protects our capacity to be light?


  • Salt a centimeter away from food is useless; Christians not living for people outside themselves are worthless. - F.D. Bruner
  • We are so accustomed to referring to God as “the father” that we do not stop to reflect that this was a revolutionary way of thinking of the “high and holy one who inhabits eternity." Jesus forever altered the way we think of God. - Leon Morris
  • We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it. - Madeleine L’Engle
  • Instructions for living a life:
    Pay attention.
    Be astonished.
    Tell about it.
    - Mary Oliver


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