February 5, 2017 – Jonathan Chute – “Over/Under”
This Sunday our gospel continues Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount. He has gathered his followers to hear about life in the kingdom of heaven and to learn how to take their part in the story of salvation. He wants them to know that they have a vital role to play in sharing God’s love with the world. They are like salt, an ingredient that makes all the difference. They are light, that cannot be hidden. Whether or not they like it, their actions bear witness to the truth of God’s grace in their lives – or not. They have a choice about what the world will see, but not whether they will be seen. The text for the sermon is Matthew 5:13-16, and Jonathan’s title is “Over/Under.”
February 12, 2017 – Jonathan Chute – “New Rules”
The gospel for this Sunday continues Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. Here he comments on several of the 10 commandments and makes clear that following God’s law is not as simple as we might think. Some of us will be able to follow the letter of the law. But Jesus has higher hopes for his followers. Where the law says “Do not murder,” Jesus says “Do not be angry with a brother or sister.” The way he puts it, it looks like no one will be able to pass this test. Jonathan’s sermon is titled “New Rules,” and he will be preaching from Matthew 5:21-26.
February 19, 2017, April Herron – “Too Much to Ask”
What distinguishes us as Christians and people of faith? Both Moses (speaking for God) and Jesus have a lot to say on this subject. It may boil down to “love your neighbor as yourself,” but when it comes to the details of how to live out that guidance, scripture offers some challenging instruction. By reading Leviticus 19:1-2 and 9-18, and considering it alongside Matthew 5:38-48, we’ll see how Jesus was shaped and inspired by the teachings that preceded him. We will also hear the call to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” April’s sermon title is “Too Much to Ask?”
February 26, 2017, Jonathan Chute – “Flash Forward”
This week is Transfiguration Sunday, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of Lent. Our gospel describes one of the most mysterious events in the life of Jesus. He takes three of the disciples to the top of a mountain. There, as they watch, his appearance is completely changed. His face shines brightly, and Moses and Elijah suddenly appear, talking with him. As Peter tries to make sense of all this, a cloud overshadows them all, and God’s voice is heard. Overwhelmed by fear, the disciples fall to the ground. Jonathan’s sermon is a reflection on Matthew 17:1-9, and his title is “Flash Forward.”