“And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” – Matthew 7:28–29 (ESV)

Astonished – greatly surprised or impressed; amazed. 
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen or heard? I havebeen amazed plenty of times in my life, but two things in particular come to mind at the moment. The first is, when I was in Italy, we visited a home in the north that was next to the Alps mountain range. I remember seeing an airplane flying between two peaks that looked like a tiny bird. It was a truly awesome sight.
The second memory is of a time when I was in college, and I aimlessly wandered into an auditorium where the local symphony was rehearsing. I have no idea what piece they were playing, but the way their sound filled the room overwhelmed me and filled me with amazement at the beauty of what I heard.
As I reflect on these experiences, perhaps what caused my astonishment was the juxtaposition of seemingly competing sentiments: smallness & security, gravity & grandeur, inadequacy & intimacy.
Could it be that the the crowds who heard the Sermon on the Mount experienced astonishment in a similar way? Surely there were many responses: feeling threatened, comforted, challenged, convicted, confused, committed. Whatever the case, we know that their surprise and amazement was due to the authority with which Jesus was teaching. This teaching was different than anything anyone there had ever heard. And it compelled them to respond.
We’ve just spent an entire summer studying the Sermon on the Mount, and this Sunday we will reflect on and review what we’ve heard with a unique worship celebration. Many in our church have responded in incredible ways to the teaching we’ve received, and we will celebrate that! Perhaps this Sunday is another opportunity for us to respond as well – not only with astonishment at the revolutionary message of the Sermon on the Mount, but with submission to Jesus’ authority as well. I’d encourage you to read through Matthew 5-7 one more time, and prepare your heart to respond. It’s going to be a great Sunday!

Be sure to listen to the worship set as you prepare for worship.

Love you, church!­

Brett Lovern
Pastor of Worship & Arts

9:00 AM  – Worship Service On Campus & Online (Lancaster Campus)
11:00 AM – Worship Service on Campus & Online (Lancaster Campus)


Everything you need for Sunday is available on the Mission Church App under Sunday Resources or on our website.