Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for January 20
Dr. Reggie Williams, preaching

After a warm and joyous Christmas and Epiphany – and following our wonderful celebrations of the ordinations and installations of our new officers – a return to the hard news of the outside world can feel very uncomfortable. Whatever our personal beliefs, we can be confused about how we’re supposed to address things like a tsunami in Indonesia, refugees at our border, or a government shutdown that is affecting so many families.
This upcoming weekend, we will be pausing to consider the life and legacy of one of our country’s greatest leaders, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here’s what he said to a group of middle school students in 1967: “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be the sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”
Maybe this weekend we can all reflect on what sort of living sign of Jesus’ love and peace we can be for our world, in these days. However big or small we might be. To help us in our reflections, Dr. Reggie Williams is bringing a message to our worship services about the example of leaders like King and Bonhoeffer, and about how we might continue their work. I hope you’ll join in to hear what he has to say!

P.S. Join us tonight at Emmanuel Baptist Church for our Community Conversation with Dr. Reggie Williams. Find out more about this special event!
Theme for Sunday

“After 1931 Bonhoeffer argued for concrete obedience to the Sermon on the Mount. As early as 1932, he wrote that, with cheap grace, Christians consider Christ’s commands to be idealistic and too abstract to follow. But the grace of God calls us to discipleship; it condemns sin and justifies the sinner. Costly grace opposes cheap grace, which distorts and avoids Jesus. Cheap-grace Christianity encourages bias with theological justification for the practice of oppression by the Volkish Christianity that encourages misplaced loyalties and divides the body of Christ. During the church resistance movement, Bonhoeffer railed against cheap grace—a cheapened version of Christianity—with vitriol.”
-Reggie Williams, Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus
Questions for Reflection
  • Who is a faith leader that inspires you with hope?
  • What is one thing (big or small) you could do to live a life more like theirs?

Matthew 5:1-12

"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,...

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