May 7, 2017 – Jonathan Chute “Signs of Life”
The gospel for this Sunday continues the story of the church in its earliest days. The first followers of Jesus are still living in Jerusalem, where they gather often in the temple. They break bread together in their homes, where their worship is warm and welcoming. There is generosity and sharing with anyone in need. They are growing in the knowledge and love of God. They are making a difference in the world. It is a picture of the kind of community which people hope to find even today. The text for Jonathan’s sermon, “Signs of Life,” is Acts 2:42-27.
May 14, 2017 – Jonathan Chute “Chosen”
Our scripture comes from a time of distress for the growing Christian movement. The Roman Empire has become increasingly hostile toward them. Some have left behind parts of their old lives, others even their families, as they have decided to follow the way of Christ. The writer of this letter wants them to know that they are a part of something important. God has chosen them. Now that they have found a home in this new family, they will be a sign of welcome and hope for others. 1 Peter 2:2-10 is the text for Jonathan’s sermon, “Chosen.”
May 21, 2017 – April Herron “A God Who Is Always Near”
When the Apostle Paul arrived in the city of Athens for the first time, he knew he had arrived in a place where the gospel of Jesus Christ had never before been preached or presented. He walked around the city looking at the temples and the statuary. He joined discussions in the synagogue and the marketplace. He debated with the local philosophers. It didn’t take long to get the people of the city stirred up. They brought Paul to the Areopagus and asked, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.” Paul’s moment had come. He stood before the gathered assembly and began to speak.
Paul dared to proclaim a creator God who gives life and breath to all things and who wants to be sought and found by the peoples of the earth. He testified that God is never far from any one of us, and that God has high hopes for us. The text of his remarks is recorded in Acts 17:22-31. April’s sermon title is, “A God Who Is Always Near.”
May 28, 2017 – April Herron “Empty Tomb, Empty Sky”
Acts 1:6-14 tells the story of the conclusion of Jesus’s life on earth in human form. Forty days after God raised Jesus from the dead, after they had been visited several times by the risen Christ, the disciples witnessed a departure that left them perplexed and astonished. The text says Jesus “was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight.” We also, both in our reading and our living, might find ourselves perplexed. What’s going on? Has Jesus left us? Is there something more we should be expecting? How do we go on from here? These questions will be explored in April’s sermon, “Empty Tomb, Empty Sky.”