Opening Prayer: Almighty God, you who continually call your people to yourself, draw us by the power of your Holy Spirit into such a warm and binding relationship that we may faithfully follow you all the days of our lives. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Read: Matthew 5:27-37
Reflect: The Sermon on the Mount gives us some of the most stringent interpretations of ethical requirements upon God’s people. Why do you think Jesus gives room for divorce in the case of infidelity (consider the story of Hosea)? Do you think there is significance to Jesus’ instructions on oaths coming immediately after the discussion of marriage? How does this passage weigh in your understanding of marriage?
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself.
Hymn: “When Love is Found”
When love is found and hope comes home,
Sin and be glad that two are one.
When love explodes and fills the sky,
Praise God and share our Maker’s joy.
When love has flowered in trust and care,
Build both each day that love may dare
To reach beyond home’s warmth and light,
To serve and strive for truth and right.
When love is tired and loved ones change,
Hold still to hope tho’ all seems strange,
Till ease returns and love grows wise
Through listening ears and open eyes.
When love is torn and trust betrayed,
Pray strength to love till torments fade,
Till lovers keep no score of wrong
But hear through pain love’s Easter song.
Praise God for love; braise God for life,
In age or youth, in husband, wife.
Lift up your hearts; let love be fed
Through death and life and broken bread.
Benediction: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.