1/25/09 – Jonathan Chute – “Call Waiting”
Sermon – Call Waiting
Jonah 3:1-5, 10 & Mark 1:14-20. This week, a two-for-one special – two stories of God calling people when they least expect it, or even when they’d rather not answer at all. That’s the story of Jonah, the Bible’s most reluctant prophet. He hears that God wants him to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh, which in Jonah’s mind (and God’s) is a wicked, wicked place. He’s afraid that if he goes and proclaims the message God has given him to preach, that the people WILL repent, and God will forgive them. Jonah doesn’t want that.
In Mark’s gospel we read of the call of the first disciples, by the side of the sea of Galilee. Jesus meets two sets of brothers and invites them to leave everything behind to follow. Andrew and Peter drop their nets and go. James and John leave not only the nets, and the fishing boat, but their father as well. There’s nothing in the text to suggest that they were expecting this. Yet the call came.
Scripture – Jonah 3:1-5, 10 & Mark 1:14-20
1/18/09 – Jonathan Chute – “Come and See”
Sermon – Come and See
John 1:35-46. This week we watch as Jesus begins his public ministry and gathers his first followers. Surprisingly it isn’t Jesus, but John the Baptist, who gets the ball rolling, as he points Jesus out to two of his own disciples. They follow after him and become convinced that they have met the Messiah. In turn, they invite others to “come and see” too. The growth of this movement will depend on how those who have encountered Jesus share that good news with others. So we are like them in two ways – that we are seeking to follow Jesus, and that we share what we have found with others along the way.
Scripture – John 1:35-46
1/11/09 – Jonathan Chute – “What God Said”
Sermon – What God Said
Genesis 1:1-5, Mark 1:4-11. The second Sunday in January celebrates the baptism of Jesus and marks the beginning of his public ministry. Over the next few weeks we will watch as he gathers the disciples around him and carries out a ministry of healing in the nearby countryside. But there is something about beginning at the beginning, and that is where we find ourselves this week. The sermon is based on two readings from scripture which at first seem to have little in common. The first is the opening verses of Genesis (also known as the VERY beginning!), where God first acts to begin the work of creation. It is dark. God’s Spirit moves over the waters. God speaks, and the first day has begun. Genesis 1:1-5 gets us on our way. And then, in this morning’s gospel, Jesus goes out to the Jordan to be baptized. It is a dark time in the life of the people. There is water. God speaks, and Jesus’ ministry is begun.
Scripture – Genesis 1:1-5, Mark 1:4-11
1/4/09 – John Kwan – “The Gift of Giving
Sermon – The Gift of Giving
Matthew 2:1-12 – In today’s scripture, Matthew shares his account of the events following Jesus’ birth. Magi from East are led by a star to Bethlehem. These ancient astrologers are not certain but they have interpreted this as a sign that a new king has been born and set out to discover if this is true. We join them in their journey as they seek out this new king.
Scripture – Matthew 2:1-12