112 E Annabelle St. Brandon, SD 57005
605.582.5030
spiritoftruthlutheranchurch@gmail.com

Welcome

Spirit of Truth Lutheran Church

Worship with us in our sanctuary at 9:30am or through our YouTube livestream.

See our “media” page to view services and to subscribe to our channel.

Spirit of Truth Lutheran Church is congregation

of the North American Lutheran Church.

We invite you to worship with us each Sunday at 9:30am.

Join us for Bible studies, Sunday School, youth group, and more.

Come, visit and see if God is calling you to be part of our church family!

Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

February 5, 2023

WEEKLY READINGS

First Reading – Isaiah 58:3–9a

Isaiah condemns religious ritual; he notes that God takes no knowledge of such things. They count for nothing, since God looks upon the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). How we apply our religious makeup does not impress God. Fasting and other such rituals do not reveal the heart. If you wish to please God, be of benefit to others instead of harming your own body. That is the fast God desires, and such fasts originate from faith, not religion.

Psalm – Psalm 112:1–9

The grace of God produces a fear of the Lord that causes the love of God to shine forth. As such, one now delights in the commandments. The commandments are not followed because of compulsion, but because of a love of God. The one who delights in the commandments will find ways to go “beyond the law” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 11). “The law is good, if one uses it lawfully” (1 Tim. 1:8). That is, when used legitimately, the law will produce a “steady heart,” a firm mettle, a righteousness that is not one’s own (Phil. 3:9), that endure forever.

Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 2:1–1213–16

The one who makes Christ the focus will see widely. The one who focuses on the wide-ranging philosophies of religion runs the risk of not knowing Christ. We, instead, are to know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified (v. 2). Despite any weakness of our own, the knowledge of Christ reveals the things of God through his Spirit (v. 10).

The natural person cannot perceive the things of the Spirit. They seem ridiculous to those without “the mind of Christ” (v. 16). But to those who are being saved (1 Cor. 1:18), the focus of Christ brings revelation and wisdom and the power of God. This is what God has prepared for those who love him — those who are engrossed with Jesus Christ and him crucified. Such a person will never be moved because she is focused on Christ instead of self. This is the revelation of God’s power at work in the believer, despite her weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

Gospel – Matthew 5:13–20

The earth needs salt. All of creation is rather tasteless, for it is imperfect and even corrupt before God. Therefore, the earth needs “God’s salt” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 21). The Church is called by Christ to be this salt of God. Yet salt does not only flavor things. Salt preserves; salt also heals — but not without pain. Do not imagine that by being God’s salt, you will bring flavor and healing to a corrupt world without the world crying about your saltiness. Do not expect that by setting your Lamp upon the stand that those who have been dwelling in darkness will not feel some pain in the retinas of their souls.