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"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

Matthew 5:13–16

Throughout January we will consider the gospel work we are to do while waiting for Jesus Christ to return. Today’s subject is heavy. Our hope is that we have a pastoral conversation, not a political one. The values of God do not belong to one party. 

Break the ice. How does it affect your thoughts and emotions to realize that you are made in God’s image? 

Discuss the text. Churches around the United States use “Freedom Sunday” to celebrate God's gift of life, commemorate lives lost to abortion, and fight against modern-day slavery. Brothers and sisters, God commissions us into this Imago Dei work. As Jamin reminded us last Sunday, we are participants, not spectators. 

Why did God make us in His image? 

What does it mean for the people of God to be salt and light regarding the sanctity of life? 

How would you minister to a woman or a man who has experienced abortion? 

An easy application question might be, how will you get involved in the fight to end slavery, sex trafficking or abortion? But a better question to ask might be, are you in love with Jesus? If you are, describe how your heart aligns with His about these injustices.

Close in prayer. Let’s spend a couple of minutes in silence. Praise God for making you in His likeness. Ask God to show you how to love other image bearers as He loves them. Confess ways you haven’t loved well, and trust in His forgiveness. 

Encourage our church-wide practices. As a church, we are invited throughout this sermon series to engage in three practices: Morning Prayer, Evening Silence and Wednesday Fast. The practices are a way to become satisfied in God. May you abide in Jesus and access the presence of God this week. Amen.