Lectionary Commentaries for August 24, 2014
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

from WorkingPreacher.org


Commentary on Matthew 16:13-20

Eric Barreto

“But who do you say that I am?”

Though this question is posed to Jesus’ narrative audience, his disciples, it is a powerful query upon us as well today. Who do we say Jesus is? And the question is even more resonant if we embrace the fullness of what it means to “speak” or “say” in this context. It just may be that the lives we lead in light of our hopes in the Messiah are just as critical as that which we confess with words, no matter how true or elegant. That is, as we answer this life-altering question, the shape of our lives may be as important as the words our lips voice.

Questions of identity are at the center of the Gospels. In both narrative accounts and explicit identifications, the Gospels weave a number of portraits of Jesus. In doing so, however, the Gospel writers are not just interested in correctly defining who Jesus is but also in shaping a community molded in light of his actions and teachings. And so these questions of identity are not just a matter of definition but of formation, not just doctrine but discipleship.

In this week’s pericope, these questions of Jesus’ identity are stated as sharply as any other account of Jesus’ ministry. Gathered in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus wonders aloud what the crowds are saying about him but more importantly what the disciples think. It’s another way of saying, “Why are you following me? Why have you left everything you know? Who do you say that I am?” And so it might be worthwhile to ask the faithful today a similar question. Why are you here? Why have you chosen to follow this Galilean peasant? Why are you on this path?

We will recall that this narrative of discovery is particularly crucial in Mark’s account (8:27-38). In Mark, this scene is the critical narrative hinge upon which the whole story turns. With Peter’s confession, the story makes a dramatic shift towards the cross. In Matthew’s account, the story remains important though perhaps not as central as Mark’s version. It remains critical because the question of Jesus’ identity drives so much of the story. For instance, questions of identity are precisely why Matthew begins with a complex, fascinating, structured genealogy.

Genealogies are not just simple accounts of past ancestors. They are ways that we construct identity, ways in which we relate to our past. Jesus’ identity is inextricably linked by Matthew’s genealogy with Abraham and David, with exile and deliverance, with kings and extraordinarily faithful women. So also the birth narrative places Jesus in distinguished company. The threats over his young life, his family’s exile into Egypt, and their eventual return resonates with Moses’ own story. In short, for Matthew, identity is not just about who you are but who is around you, who is accompanying you, who has come before you.

The company Jesus keeps in this scene is thus instructive. When Jesus polls his disciples about public opinion, they recount that many think he is John the Baptist or Elijah or Jeremiah or another prophet risen anew. The crowds have gotten an important part of Jesus’ identity exactly right. His ministry is not a diversion in the narratives of God’s interactions with God’s people. In many ways, Jesus is not a detour on God’s plans. Instead, Jesus belongs in a long line of faithful servants of God, prophets willing to stake their lives for the sake of God’s people.

In indirect ways, he also has another set of company. The location of this event in Caesarea Philippi is no accident. Caesar’s name and the city he built hovers over the scene. Jesus’ identity is composed in the context of God’s interaction with Israel as well as the regnant power of Jesus’ own time. When Peter declares Jesus to be the Messiah or the anointed one of God, images of political independence are certainly in the air.

After all, anointing is precisely how Israel’s kings were inaugurated into service. Behind Peter’s hopes is a political expectation that Rome would no longer wield its swords, that Rome would cede authority to the one true power of the universe. And when Jesus starts preaching about a kingdom of heaven which keys he has given to the faithful, you can only imagine the excitement these disciples would have felt, an excitement Jesus will reshape and redirect next week.

Do we share in this excitement today? Do we see the ways in which “empires” today still rule over us? Perhaps they no longer take the shape of the ancient empire of Rome with its armies and political structure, but are there largely invisible forces constantly deceiving us about our worth and place in the world? Are such empires waging war against our humanity? Are there still empires in new dress crushing the oppressed all around us? What would it mean to call Jesus the Messiah in such a context as ours?

The power of Peter’s confession is only enhanced as the passage comes to a close. Here, Jesus famously grants Peter a new name (in this case, “The Rock,” but not the wrestler), which is also a symbolic anchor for the “church.” There are, of course, generation of debates revolving around the identification of “the rock” upon which Jesus will build the church. What may be even more telling is the power that comes in the wake of confessing Jesus as Messiah and living into this world-changing reality. A synchronicity emerges between what happens here on earth and what happens in the heavens. There is power in faith, a power that resonates into the highest heavens.

The question for us is how we might see that power working in our midst. Our tendency, I think, is to look to the spectacular and the stunning to see God’s power at work. But what if God’s power is more subtle than such fireworks? What if the simple assertion that Jesus is the Messiah is more powerful but quieter than the clanging gongs of empire?

It is telling that this word “church” is present here at all. After all, while the term occurs regularly in the rest of the New Testament, Matthew 16:18 and 18:17 are the only occurrences we found in the Gospels. So, exhort your hearers to look around themselves in their churches to see things being bound and others being loosened. Where do they see freedom and liberation emerging, even in small, seemingly insignificant ways? How are they as a community binding the forces of death that seek to engulf us? In every thoughtful gesture, in every supportive word, in every prophetic denunciation of injustice, in every meal cooked, in every day of work, we might just catch a glimpse of the power Jesus promised here.

In the end, a life of faithful service may be the best answer to that awe-inspiring question: Who do you say that I am?

First Reading

Commentary on Isaiah 51:1-6

Patricia Tull

Although the lectionary excludes the last two verses of this passage (verses 7-8), they are clearly related (see their repetitions of verses 1 and 6).

Just as the Matthew passage for the day deals with identity, so does this short passage from the exilic section of the book of Isaiah.

For Matthew the question was, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (16:13). In the Isaiah passage it is not the leader whose identity is under scrutiny, but the people themselves, as the prophet asks them to look to their own heritage. Although this passage points to several moments in Israel’s story, the most overt reference is to Abraham and Sarah.

Given this founding couple’s prominence in Genesis, one would think recollections of them would be spread throughout the biblical story, but actually they are not. In fact, this is Sarah’s only appearance in the Hebrew Bible outside of Genesis. Even in Exodus through Deuteronomy, Abraham’s name only appears in the formulaic “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Then he virtually disappears until the early exilic book of Ezekiel when, in a saying reminiscent of this one, Ezekiel criticizes those left in the land who say, “Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but we are many; the land is surely given us to possess” (Ezekiel 33:24).

References to the Garden of Eden, another foundational story of Genesis, are similarly scarce throughout the biblical account, and only reappear in Ezekiel. See the strangely similar account concerning a prince of Tyre in Ezekiel 28, especially verse 13, and references to “the garden of God” and “the trees of Eden” in chapter 31 and in 38:35.

Such late remembrances of Abraham, Sarah, and Eden indicate that these Genesis accounts are not necessarily as old as their prominence in the Bible’s first pages suggests. Rather, they are newly known in exilic times. Ezekiel seems to know a version of these stories, and Second Isaiah, at the end of the Babylonian period, refers to them as well, at a time when Judah’s identity as a nation is being reconstituted.

The story of Abraham, who once traveled the road from Ur in Babylonia to Canaan, features questions of land, progeny, and future, and the raising of hope against all hope. Though the Judeans were once subjects of a monarchy centered on Jerusalem, through Abraham’s story they are encouraged to view themselves as a family, a clan of people whose existence preceded the Davidic dynasty by many centuries, and even preceded their tenure in the land.

Not only this, but they are to think of themselves as children of promise, envisioned long beforehand by a God who singled out one unpromising couple for blessings. If Abraham and Sarah could become parents of many, even the depleted generation of exile could regain its footing and become many.

The Eden story also features themes important in Babylonian times, particularly the transgression of divine command, sin, and exile from an original land. Like the land of “thorns and thistles” outside the garden (Genesis 3:18), Judah is described here as a wilderness. But in a dramatic reversal the prophet foresees that it will become once again a fruitful garden.

Reversals of Lamentations intertwine with the imagined return to the garden. A lament most likely composed shortly after Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians had said repeatedly that Jerusalem had no one to comfort her (1:2, 9, 16, 17, 21).

But Second Isaiah’s poetry repeats over and over, beginning in the first verse (40:1) and again in 49:13, that God will bring comfort. This theme, expressed here as “the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places” (51:3), will reappear a few verses later in 51:12, and most decisively in 52:9.

If the first three verses keep the past and past words firmly in view, the rest of this passage echoes, and sometimes culminates, themes found within Second Isaiah’s own poetry: joy and gladness (verse 3; see 35:10; 51:11), Jerusalem’s ruins (verse 3; see 44:26; 49:19; 52:9); God’s teaching (verses 4, 7; see 42:4, 21, 24); justice/judgment (verse 4; see 40:14, 27; 41:1; 42:1, 3, 4; 49:4; 50:8; 53:8; 54:17); light (verse 4; see 42:6, 16; 45:7; 49:6); tsedek (righteousness/deliverance/victory, verses 1, 5, 7; see 41:2, 10; 42:6, 21; 45:8, 13, 19, 25); coastlands/islands (verse 5; see 40:16; 41:1, 5; 42:4, 10, 12, 15; 49:1); salvation (verses 6, 8; see 49:6, 8; 52:7,10); and especially God’s arm (verse 5), a thread that begins in 40:10, 11, reappears in 48:14, and will become particularly prominent in what follows in 51:9, 52:10, and 53:1. In short, these verses seem to be a tour de force of Second Isaian vocabulary, knitting together themes from throughout the book.

So what can we make of all this? Studies of modern music show that repetition makes the heart grow fonder. This is why songs we may not like at first “grow” on us over time, and why a song we have heard ninety-nine times can yield new discoveries even on the hundredth hearing.

Second Isaiah seems to recognize the beauty of the known, in fact to savor it, even to the point of joining with popular words the poet wishes to dispute, such as the lament. Repeating his own words over and over as a complex refrain, and repeating even newfound founding stories as if they were ancient, the prophet reinforces the encouraging message of redemption for a people who need a new song to sing, a song of hope and deliverance.

Alternate First Reading

Commentary on Exodus 1:8—2:10

Cameron B.R. Howard

The command to know “who you are and whose you are” has become a cliché in Christian preaching these days, often overused and under-explained.

Even so, this simple phrase gets at the heart of the book of Exodus, which is dominated by the theme of identity. In fact, the book of Exodus can be read as Israel’s response to and explication for the questions “Who are you?” and “To whom do you belong?”

This week’s lectionary passage begins with a crisis of identity for the descendants of Jacob, Israel, who migrated to Egypt to escape famine in the closing chapters of Genesis: “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:8, emphasis added). No longer known to the Pharaoh as a favored people, the Hebrews become enslaved to him instead. The crisis sets the stage for understanding the identities not only of individuals in the book of Exodus, but also of the people of Israel and of God’s very self.

Afraid of the Hebrews’ increase in number and power, Pharaoh orders their midwives to murder male Hebrew babies as they are delivered. Though the NRSV renders the phrase “Hebrew midwives,” the grammatical construction in the Hebrew text obscures whether “Hebrew” refers to the midwives’ ethnicity or that of the women they serve. The names Shiphrah and Puah mean “beautiful” and “splendid,” and so they may be generic, folkloristic designations for the women. Shiphrah and Puah could Hebrews, Egyptians, or members of another group that goes unmentioned.

Regardless of their nationality, Shiphrah and Puah show that they fear God, not Pharaoh. They do not carry out the king’s orders, and to save the Hebrew boys they appeal to what appears to be Pharaoh’s own prejudicial sense of the relationship between physical difference and ethnicity. They insist that “the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them” (Exodus 1:19). The word here for “vigorous” shares the root of the word “life.” While deceiving Pharaoh, that language also winks at the reader: the Hebrew women are full of life. Their identity resists death.

Throughout the early chapters of Exodus, Moses will wrestle with his dual identity as a Hebrew and an Egyptian. The beginning of chapter 2 establishes Moses’ Hebrew parentage for the reader: there should be no doubt that, as the child of two Levites, Moses is a Hebrew and, more specifically, a Hebrew from the priestly lineage of Levi. In the face of another murderous edict from Pharaoh against Hebrew baby boys, Moses’ mother has set him adrift on the Nile.

It is unclear exactly what she hopes will come from this desperate maneuver. If Pharaoh has his way, the baby will be thrown into the Nile, but Moses’ mother prepares a basket and places him gently in the water. The river that should be the scene of Moses’ death becomes the place of his salvation. When Pharaoh’s daughter draws him out of the water, she also delivers him from the water, so that his name, too, evokes life.

Though the text gives us no further details about Moses’ childhood, we can safely assume that it would have been full of the trappings of Egyptian royal life, even as he may have been taught Israelite traditions by his mother, whom Pharaoh’s daughter hired to nurse him. (Steven Spielberg’s film The Prince of Egypt imagines the context of the Egyptian palace, as well as Moses’ crisis of identity, very well.)

Exodus 2:19 does give a hint of Moses’ outward appearance. When the daughters of Reuel tell their father about their misadventure at the well, they report, “An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds … ” Something about Moses’ appearance looks Egyptian, even though we readers know of his Hebrew parentage. Like the Hebrew midwives, Moses will eventually understand whom he fears and with whom he belongs: God, not Pharaoh.

Moses’ dual identity will reach a crisis point when he kills an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew (2:11-15). His vocational identity, as God’s prophet chosen to lead God’s people out of bondage, will continue to be tested as the book of Exodus progresses. This week’s earliest glimpses into Moses’ story set the stage for that unfolding drama.

This week’s passages detailing the midwives’ courage and Moses’ infancy are parts of the broader story of the relationship between God and Israel as presented in the book of Exodus. Israel will learn who God is, and they will learn that their identity is rooted in belonging to God. In Exodus 3, God will reveal God’s name to Moses, declaring that this God YHWH is the God of Moses’ ancestors: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

God will refer to the Israelites time and time again as “my people,” claiming them, hearing their cries, and delivering them. Pharaoh will ask, “Who is YHWH, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go” (Exodus 5:2). Like the Pharaoh who did not know Joseph, this Pharaoh does not know YHWH. Pharaoh, like the Israelites, will need some convincing about who this God is and to whom the Israelites belong.

Lifting up the theme of identity in Exodus fits well with Jesus’ questions to the disciples about his own identity in this week’s appointed gospel reading (Matthew 16:13-20): “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” and “But who do you say that I am?” The book of Exodus and the Gospel reading alike show that even if questions of identity can be boiled down to pithy answers, the phrase “who we are and whose we are” is understood most fully when accompanied by the careful interpretation of the rich stories that have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our God.


Commentary on Psalm 138:1-8

Nancy deClaissé-Walford

Psalm 138 is classified as an Individual Hymn of Thanksgiving, a psalm in which a single voice praises God for goodness to or on behalf of that individual, usually for deliverance from some trying situation.

Hermann Gunkel, one of the great fathers of psalm studies, describes hymns of thanksgiving in this way: “A person is saved out of great distress, and now with grateful heart he [sic] brings a thank offering to Yahweh; it was customary that at a certain point in the sacred ceremony he would offer a song in which he expresses his thanks.”

In eight brief verses, the singer of Psalm 138 gives thanks to God in the presence of three groups: the gods (verses 1-3); the kings of the earth (verses 4-6); and enemies (verses 7-8). Second-person pronouns abound in verses 1-3, occurring eleven times as the psalmist addresses God directly.

In verse 1, the psalmist gives thanks to God, making music in the presence of the gods. Psalms 135 and 136 also mention “the gods.” In Psalm 135:5 the singer declares “great is the LORD, our God, our Lord, more than all the gods.” And in Psalm 136:2-3, the psalmist says, “Give thanks to the god of gods … give thanks to the lord of lords.” Such phrases are common in the Old Testament, expressing God’s sovereignty over any claimants to the appellation “god.”

In verse 2 of Psalm 138, the psalm singer continues the words of thanks, this time to the “name (shem)” of god, because of God’s “steadfast love (hesed) and faithfulness (‘emeth).” “Name” was an important concept in the ancient Near East. Names reflected the natures and characters of the person who bore them and were conceptually equal to the essence of ones being. The name “Jacob” means “he usurps,” because he grabs Esau’s heel at the birth, attempting to be the first-born twin (Genesis 25:26). He indeed usurps Esau later in life when he coerces Esau into selling to him his birthright and when he tricks Isaac into giving him the blessing.

After wrestling at the Jabbok, God changes Jacob’s name to “Israel,” which means “he has struggled with God” (Genesis 32:28). During Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush in Exodus 3, Moses replies to God’s command to return to Egypt with a seemingly simple request. “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I tell them?” (3:13).

Moses asks for God’s name in order to fully understand and then convey to the Israelites who this God was. In Exodus 20, God commanded the Israelites that they not “make wrongful use of” God’s name. And the book of Deuteronomy tells us that God’s name will dwell in the place of God’s choosing in the promised land (Deuteronomy 12:5; 14:23-24; 16:2).

The word “steadfast love (hesed)” occurs some 245 times in the Old Testament, 127 times in the book of Psalms. One Jewish scholar defines hesed as “a free-flowing love that knows no bounds.” Hesed is most closely connected conceptually with the covenant relationship between God and children of Israel. Genesis 17 records these words of God to Abram, “I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now alien … and I will be their God” (verses 7-8).

In Exodus 19, God says to the children of Israel, “If you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples … you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation” (verses 5-6). In each instance, God calls the Israelites into a special relationship centered around a covenant.

Hesed is often used in conjunction with “faithfulness (‘emeth). Both are self-descriptive words used by God in the revelation to Moses on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 34:6-8). The Hebrew verbal root of ‘emeth is ‘aman, meaning “be firm, be reliable, be permanent,” and is the root from which the word “amen” is derived. The psalmist thus gives thanks to, makes music to, and bows down toward God because of God’s name, covenant commitment, and firm reliability.

In verse 3, the psalm singer states what has prompted these words of thanks to God. The first begins in most English translations with the words “On the day that I called,” suggesting a particular point in time when the psalmist cried out. In Hebrew, however, the phrase has a broader temporal frame of reference, best understood as “whenever.” Thus, the psalmist thanks God for answering whenever the psalmist cries out.

In verse 4, the venue of thanks and singing to God shifts from the realm of the gods (verse 1) to the earthly realm of kings. The reason that kings ought to join the psalm singer in giving thanks and singing to God is three-fold: 1) The kings have heard the words (verse 4b; 2b); 2) The glory of the Lord is great (verse 5b); and the Lord is exalted, seeing and knowing the states of the lowly and the haughty alike (verse 6).

The venue shifts once again in verse 7, this time to the realm of the midst of “trouble (tsarah) and the wrath of my enemies (‘oyeb).” The two words “trouble” and “enemies” are often used in parallel constructions in Hebrew poetry (Psalm 42). The psalm singer refers to the hand of God three times in the closing verses of Psalm 138.

God stretches out a hand (verse 7); God’s hand delivers (verse 7); and the psalmist asks God not to “forsake” the “work of your hands” (verse 8). The word translated “forsake” is rapah and means “be slack, be loosened, be weak.” The psalmist has experienced God’s upholding hands over and over in the past and petitions God to continue to uphold and protect.

Psalm 138 celebrates the name, the steadfast love, the faithfulness, and the intimate care of God in the myriad places in which we find ourselves in life — our sanctuaries of safety; our chaotic social, political, and economic world; our daily trials and troubles. The psalm singer reminds the faithful that their God is a God who remembers and cares; that their God is a God worthy of thanks and worship; and that their God is a God above all gods.

Second Reading

Commentary on Romans 12:1-8

Elizabeth Shively

At first glance, Paul’s appeal to his audience to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice” for “your spiritual worship” might sound like he is demanding an esoteric or mystical kind of devotion.

But a closer look reveals that Paul calls not for disembodied, but full-bodied worship.

Outlines of the book of Romans often divide the composition into two parts: a theological explanation of the gospel (chapters 1-11) and a series of ethical exhortations (chapters 12-15). This division is warranted, because with 12:1 Paul introduces new style and content as he brings the story of Christ’s redemption to bear on the life of the believer in tangible and practical ways.

At the end of chapter 11, Paul had reflected on God’s mysterious, fixed purpose and great mercies for all people, both Jew and Gentile (11:30-32). In response, he broke into doxology (11:33-36). But, the letter does not end there. Paul picks up language he had used at the end of chapter 11, calling the audience now to respond to God’s great mercies not in doxology, but with a living sacrifice.

In verse 1 Paul exhorts his audience to present their bodies as living sacrifices, “which is your spiritual worship.” In verse 2 he further defines what this means: be transformed by renewing your mind to approve, or discern, God’s perfect will. “Spiritual worship” involves the presentation of the body, accomplished by the renewal of the mind.

Paul develops themes from earlier in the letter. The vivified body and the renewed mind that result from union with Christ (6:1-23; 8:1-13) allow believers to present their bodies, not to sin as instruments of unrighteousness (6:13), but to God as living sacrifices; and to employ a mind fixed not on the flesh, but on the Spirit, in order to discern what kind of deeds are pleasing to God (8:6-9).

The development of these themes is a clue that “spiritual worship” does not refer to a mystical experience. Paul has already used the word “worship” (latreia, verse 1) in 9:4 to refer to the temple service of Israel. He redefines this worship for all God’s people, who respond to God’s mercies not by giving dumb animals but by giving their own bodies as living sacrifices to God.

The term “spiritual” can also be translated as “rational.” In fact, in extra-biblical literature, rational worship is connected with moral behavior. In the context of Romans 12, this makes sense. The full-bodied worship for which Paul calls is a matter of the character of our bodies: we are truly to offer ourselves for service to others.

This point is thrown in sharp relief by comparing 12:1-2 with 1:18-32. There, Gentiles engage in improper worship of creatures rather than proper worship of the Creator (1:23, 25), who dishonor bodies (v. 24), and fail to approve God (1:28, 32). Jews worship no better, because they seek to approve God’s will by the standard of the Law, but fail (2:18).

The trajectory of 1:18-32 is towards a list of anti-social behavior (verses 29-32). That is, the climactic result of wrong worship is broken relationships, not only with God, but also with people. After Paul lays out the gospel he returns to this issue in chapter 12. Now that we understand the gospel of God’s mercies, says Paul, can we respond with proper worship that is manifest in loving relationships?

There are two clues that Paul does not start a new topic in verse 3. First, the word “for” (gar) introduces a reason for what Paul has just written. Second, language and ideas from verses 1-2 repeat, suggesting that Paul continues the themes. Paul has exhorted his audience to be transformed by the renewal of their mind; now they are to use that new mind to think rightly about themselves and each other: “I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think but to think with sober judgment … ”(verse 3). Paul calls for a new way of thinking that takes account of others. Also, Paul has exhorted his audience to present their bodies in 12:1; he now reminds them that they are one body in Christ with many members (verse 4).

Paul describes a representative list of gifts that builds up the body of Christ (the church) based on the presentation of the living bodies of sacrifice. The actions of unity, humility, and love described in verses 3-8 are examples of what it looks like to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,” or, in terms of verse 2, results of the renewed mind and examples of the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. As believers use their gifts for the sake of others, they are to act according to the “measure of faith” (metron pistews) that God has given to each one.

Rather than viewing “faith” as a personal commitment that each person is given in different proportions, it makes better sense to view it as “the faith,” that is, the Christian faith. In other words, the “measure of faith” is not a portion but a norm. It is the measuring stick that God has given to every believer to “test and approve” God’s will and our lives. Paul uses this measuring stick in Philippians 2, when he exhorts his audience to act in humility towards one another by following the self-sacrificial example of Christ.

Looking at the first two verses, we might conclude that worship is adequately performed through our corporate liturgy, preaching, and music. These practices are not wrong; but they do not reach far enough. For Paul, worship is full-bodied. It happens in community as we live out our faith by serving one another to build up the body of Christ. The quality of our worship is not measured by what happens on only Sunday mornings, but by what happens when we are together Monday through Saturday.