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Rooted Growing Branching

Nov. 7, 2021

Order of Worship – Announcements

Sermon “Seek Peace and Pursue It” – Dr. Stephen Roy

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.  Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

1 Peter 3:8-17

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind.  Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.  For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it.  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.  But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good?  But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed.  Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord.  Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.  Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.  For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil.

(NRSV)