July 2, 2017 – Jonathan Chute “The Sacrifice”
This Sunday’s text is one of the hardest passages in all of scripture. After Abraham and Sarah’s long wait for a child, now the Lord commands Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. It seems impossible. How could God first lead them into the future and then take that future away? It is a story that still provokes more questions than answers among those who hear it. Genesis 22:1-14 provides the occasion for Jonathan’s sermon, “The Sacrifice.”
July 9, 2017 – Jonathan Chute “Humility and Hope”
This week’s scripture (thank goodness!) is a love story – the search for a wife for Isaac. Abraham sends his chief servant back to the country of his birth, hoping he can find a suitable partner there. He does not want Isaac to go with him, perhaps fearing that his son may not return. After a long journey, his servant encounters Rebekah at a well outside the city of Nahor. She is literally an answer to his prayer, which asked God to bring him the right woman for Isaac. After hearing the story of this far away family, she agrees to go with him and marry Isaac. It may seem that she is taking quite a chance, but lots of relationships have gotten started on less! The text for Jonathan’s sermon, “Humility and Hope,” may be found in Genesis 24.
July 16, 2017 – Jonathan Chute “Accept No Substitutes!”
This Sunday we hear the story of the birth of Jacob and Esau, twin brothers whose lives will be marked by conflict with each other – even before their birth. They struggle in the womb of their mother Rebekah, and Esau is born with Jacob hanging onto his heel! It is a sign of things to come. Because he arrived first, Esau is in a position of privilege. But Jacob will turn the tables on his older brother. One day Esau comes in from the field, starving. His brother is cooking up a tasty stew. In the deal Jacob offers, Esau will pay a high price for his hunger. The text for Jonathan’s sermon is Genesis 25:19-34 – “Accept No Substitutes!”
July 23, 2017 – April Herron “Now We Know”
“Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go.” These wonderful words were spoken by God to Jacob one night while Jacob slept in the wilderness with a stone for a pillow. Having tricked his brother out of their father’s blessing, Jacob was fleeing from Esau’s murderous rage. Now comes the moment of discovery: there is nowhere Jacob (or any of us) can flee from God’s Spirit. Our scripture text for this Sunday, July 23, is Genesis 28:10-19a. April’s sermon title is, “Now We Know.”
July 30, 2017 – April Herron “A Homecoming and Two Weddings”
Have you traveled to visit relatives this summer? Found yourself in an unfamiliar environment? Fallen in love? Started a new job? Attended any weddings? Been puzzled or troubled by the way people conduct themselves? If so, you have something in common with Jacob.
Son of Isaac and Rebekah, grandson of Abraham and Sarah, Jacob is a central figure in the story of the Hebrew people. The twists and turns and questions and outcomes of his life are recounted in Genesis 25-35. This Sunday we will focus on Genesis 29:15-28, which describes how Jacob made a strong first impression, took up life in a new place, and managed to greatly complicate his personal life. April’s sermon, “A Homecoming and Two Weddings” will explore the guiding arc of the Genesis saga and of our own lives.