March 4, 2018 – Jonathan Chute “Out of Business”
According to John’s gospel Jesus is barely into his ministry when he visits the temple in Jerusalem. There he sees the animals being bought and sold, and money being exchanged for the temple offering. He reacts with anger, driving out the animals and turning over the tables of the money changers. The temple, God’s house, has become a business. Something holy and beautiful has been corrupted. It was not the first time that people have taken something good and turned it to other purposes. Nor will it be the last. John 2:13-22 is the basis for Jonathan’s sermon, “Out of Business.”
March 11, 2018 – Jonathan Chute “Getting Involved”
The letter to the Ephesians was composed near the end of Paul’s life, possibly while he was imprisoned in Rome. It circulated widely among the churches of the day. The letter reminds us that new life in Christ is a gift of God’s grace. We do not earn or achieve our salvation. We receive it.
Our gospel text for Sunday contains John’s classic statement of the meaning of the incarnation. Jesus meets with Nicodemus, a leader of the Jewish community. He has questions for Jesus, whom he sees as a teacher come from God. But Jesus lets Nicodemus know that he is more than a teacher. He shares with him the purpose of his coming, which is to bring salvation to the world. Ephesians 2:1-10, and John 3:14-16 form the basis for Jonathan’s sermon, “Getting Involved.”