Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Texts: Matthew 5-7, Romans 7:7, Genesis 15:6, Micah 6:6-8, Luke 6:36, Matthew 13:44-52, Romans 8:5-10
The community of Estacada, Oregon—people of all faiths and from all walks of life—demonstrated the message of the Sermon on the Mount this past week. A favorite food truck in Estacada that closed due to a family medical emergency got a boost from community members. Pepe's Taco Truck is a favorite lunch spot for many in the area, but the issues facing the Sanchez-Serrono family who owns the truck caused the business to shut down.
Estacada firefighter Joe Schwab, put out a call on the city’s Facebook page to “Put A Buck On The Truck,” organizing a surprise fundraising effort to help the family. For a three-hour period later that same day, people came by the food truck and covered it in cash, taping bills and checks to the vehicle in a show of support for the family. An employee of the truck who was in on the secret then brought family members to the scene. They were overwhelmed by the gesture of support and the turnout.
In three hours that afternoon, the community covered the truck in cash and checks totaling $4,610.00. As of this writing, a GoFundMe account has since raised another $6,240.00 to help the family pay their mortgage and weather this crisis. Television stations across the country—in California, Colorado, D.C., Georgia, Michigan, New York, and Texas—also picked up the news story, and donations continue to pour in.1
The Sermon on the Mount is a message meant to be lived and practiced as well as heard. Our lesson this week connects Jesus’ sermon with Micah 6:8, which says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” To do, to love, to walk, are all action phrases. This sermon is not just a well-constructed theological treatise; it is a call to action.
One of the calls to action in the message is the challenge for us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. Fortunately, Jesus gives us a picture of true Biblical perfection in the same passage. Jesus raises the standard of true perfection beyond just our personal beliefs to the more challenging benchmark of our interactions and relationships with others. Maybe we’ve never actually physically killed another human being, but how many have we “killed” with our words and attitudes?
The Sermon on the Mount demonstrates that a message preached on Sabbath morning can make a real difference in real lives on Monday morning.
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