5/31/09 – Jonathan Chute – “The Conversation”
Sermon – The Conversation
Acts 2:1-18. This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, also known as “the birthday of the Church.” Pentecost was an annual Jewish festival in the first century, celebrating the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. This week’s scripture describes the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Jesus had told them to stay in Jerusalem and wait, and the city was full of Jews from all over the known world. As the Spirit descends upon them, in the form of a mighty wind, and tongues of fire, the disciples begin to speak. Those who are gathered hear them in their own native languages. Whether the miracle was in the speaking or in the hearing is hard to tell. But what happens is the beginning of a conversation between us and God that still continues.
Scripture -Acts 2:1-18
5/24/09 – Jonathan Chute – “Up”
Sermon – Up
Acts 1:1-11. For forty days after Easter Jesus appeared, off and on, to his disciples. He encouraged them to give up their fear, and to share God’s forgiveness with the waiting world. He helped them to understand the meaning of his life, of his death, and of his resurrection. And then, after leading them out of the city, he disappeared from their sight for the last time. As they watch he is lifted up on a cloud. They stand there, seeming to wait for his return. Where he is going they cannot follow – at least for now. But where they are going, he has already promised to be with them always.
Scripture – Acts 1:1-11
5/17/09 – John Kwan – “The Ties That Bind”
Sermon – The Ties That Bind
John 15:9-17 – Jesus had just completed his last meal with his disciples and offers final words of instruction, comfort and hope before his departure. Earlier, he had given his disciples a new commandment – to love one another just as he has loved them. This Sunday, we hear Jesus offer this commandment once again, but this time he elaborates further. We hear Jesus share with his disciples what it is that binds all of them together.
Scripture – John 15:9-17
5/10/09 – Jonathan Chute – “Some Mother’s Son”
Sermon – Some Mother’s Son
Acts 8:26-40. This week’s scripture tells a story of community and hope in the early days after Easter. While traveling along a desert road Philip, one of Jesus’ followers, meets a court official from a distant land. The man is an Ethiopian, on the way home after a visit to Jerusalem. He had gone there to worship, but is searching for something more. The Bible intrigues him, but he is not sure of what he is reading. He invites Philip to help him understand. Philip tells him about Jesus, and as the two men talk, the Ethiopian discovers the sense of community and hope he’d been seeking. He wants to be baptized. He is among the first of many outsiders to become a part of this new family of faith.
Scripture – Acts 8:26-40
5/3/09 – Jonathan Chute – “Other Sheep”
Sermon – Other Sheep
John 10:11-18. One of the most encouraging images of God’s care is that of a shepherd for his flock. From the familiar words of the 23rd Psalm to the picture of Jesus as “the Good Shepherd,” God’s grace is made known to us in this compassionate, self-giving way. In this week’s gospel Jesus speaks to his friends about what it means for him to be such a shepherd. While it may come as a surprise to them, it turns out that he has other sheep to care for – people beyond this one small group. His care for all of them runs deep. Unlike a hired hand, when things get tough he will not run away. The good shepherd, Jesus says, lays down his life for the sheep.
Scripture – John 10:11-18