8/30/09 – Jonathan Chute – “Inside, Out”
Sermon – Inside, Out
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. In this week’s gospel, Jesus responds to criticism by some leaders in the religious community. They notice that his disciples are not following the rules for washing hands before eating, and are offended. Jesus responds that it is not what goes into our bodies that makes us unclean, but what comes out of us. He accuses the critics of focusing on the wrong end of the problem. While it is easy to judge the cleanliness of our hands, the intentions of the heart are harder to see and know.
Scripture – Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Sierra Service Project Reflections
8/23/09 – Jonathan Chute – “Building a Home”
Sermon – Building a Home
Mark 9:2-8, John 14:1-6a. This Sunday we get to hear from some of our youth and their counselors, following their experiences with Sierra Service Project this summer. The scriptures for the day are brief passages in two gospels, speaking about different kinds of dwellings. In the first, Peter offers to build a set of tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah, while he is up on the mountain with Jesus and two other disciples. That does not seem to be what Jesus had in mind. In the second, Jesus speaks to his disciples about the many rooms in God’s house, where he is going to prepare a place for them.
Scripture – Mark 9:2-8, John 14:1-6a
8/16/09 – Diane Rehfield – “Be Careful What You Ask For”
Sermon – Be Careful What You Ask For
Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14. What would you ask for if God invited you to ask for something? Solomon was presented with this very question. Often we think we want something that turns out not to be fulfilling in the long run. How many of us have closets full of things we thought we really wanted, which now are just taking up space? Some things we think we want even turn out to be burdensome or harmful once we have them. Solomon describes himself as “only a little child” – yet he is wise enough to resist the temptation to ask for such things. Instead he asks for an understanding mind with which to govern God’s people, and the ability to tell the difference between good and evil. God is pleased, and grants him not only that for which he has asked, but riches and honor as well. God also promises Solomon a lengthened life, but there is a condition to that. God expects Solomon to walk in God’s ways, and to keep God’s statutes and commandments.
Scripture – Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14
8/9/09 – John Kwan – “Day by Day”
Sermon – Day by Day
Acts 2:42-47 – Throughout the Gospel of Luke, we see people interact with one another in a variety of ways. We see acts of compassion and love. We see acts of distrust and contempt. What we see is a wide range of human emotions and responses. Throughout his life, Jesus hoped to share with the world a better way of being with one another. However, that seemed to be too much to ask for and it ultimately cost Jesus his life at the conclusion of Luke’s gospel. The book of Acts continues Luke’s story and begins with the appearance of Jesus and his ascension. We learn in this book what happens to Jesus’ disciples after his departure and discover the beginnings of the early church. His disciples have just experienced the coming of the Holy Spirit upon them and Peter gives a rousing testimony to the crowds. In this text, we catch a glimpse of the early church and its life together following these events.
Scripture – Acts 2:42-47
8/2/09 – John Kwan – “The Next Food Network Star”
Sermon – The Next Food Network Star
John 6:24-35 – On the heels of Jesus’ feeding of the multitude, a group of people have followed him seeking similar nourishment. Jesus tells the crowd that the bread he offers is not the kind of bread they are looking for. It’s not a matter of looking for white bread and being offered wheat. Rather, we learn in this text that Jesus is offering something completely different.
Scripture – John 6:24-35