10/25/09 – Jonathan Chute – “Seeing the Way”
Sermon – Seeing the Way
Mark 10:46-52. The gospel text for this week is the story of a healing. It is the last miracle which Jesus performs during his life, the healing of a blind man named Bartimaeus. The scene is the side of the road, just outside of Jericho. When Bartimaeus, a beggar, hears that Jesus is coming, he calls out for a blessing. Other people try to silence him, but he cries out all the more. When Jesus calls the blind man to him, he throws off his cloak and jumps to his feet. Jesus commends the man for his faith and tells him to go… he is well. But rather than go on his own way, he chooses to follow the one who has just restored his sight. It is a new day in the life of Bartimaeus. Once a beggar, he is now overcome by gratitude.
Scripture – Mark 10:46-52
10/18/09 – Jonathan Chute – “What You Don’t Know”
Sermon – What Youd Don’t Know
Mark 10:35-45. This week our gospel finds two of the disciples, James and his brother John, seeking places of privilege in God’s kingdom. They ask, when Jesus comes into the fullness of his kingdom, to sit on either side of the throne – one to his right, and one to his left. The other disciples hear about it and get angry with the two. Jesus uses the occasion to teach that the path to greatness in God’s realm is the path of service rather than self. Though they have spent much time with Jesus, it seems the disciples still have much to learn about the shape of the kingdom of God.
Scripture – Mark 10:35-45
10/11/09 – Earl Butler – “Shine Bright”
Sermon – Shine Bright
Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 25:35-40. This week is Laity Sunday, when leaders from among the congregation take the lead in Sunday worship and our clergy step aside for the day. There are two texts for this year’s service, both having to do with God’s expectations and hopes for people of faith. In the first reading God shares with Moses what have become known as the Ten Commandments. Among the 613 individual laws that may be identified in the Old Testament, these were a shorthand list of some of the most important. But in our gospel for the day Jesus provides and even shorter short list. In response to a lawyer’s question about which is the most important commandment, Jesus suggests that there are really two that belong together. Love of God and love of neighbor, he says, are the foundation of all the rest.
Scripture – Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 25:35-40
World Communion Sunday
10/4/09 – Jonathan Chute – “The Children’s Table” (morning worship)
Sermon -The Children’s Table
Mark 10:13-16. The gospel for this week is the story of Jesus blessing the little children. At first the disciples try to keep the people from bringing their children to Jesus, as though they were an unwelcome nuisance. But Jesus tells them that the kingdom of God belongs precisely to “such as these.” Jesus’ ministry reached out and included those who were lost, vulnerable and broken. It surprises us to think of the blessing of children as somehow revolutionary. But in that time small children were not seen as blessed and beautiful. Things like preschool and kindergarden were centuries away. The hope was that they would move through those years quickly, and carry their share of the work as soon as possible. But Jesus takes them in his arms and blesses them. This is not what the disciples expected.
Scripture – Mark 10:13-16
Diane Rehfield – “This One’s for You” (3rd service)
Sermon – This One’s for You
Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12. The Letter to the Hebrews is something of a window into the theology of the early Christian movement. The author helps us to understand what the early church was thinking about God, about Jesus, and about our relationship with the two of them and with each other. On this World Communion Sunday, what does it mean that Christ calls us brothers and sisters?
Scripture – Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12