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Showing posts from April, 2013

Same Gift, New People

It will be helpful, I think, before we read this story, to set it in context. The scripture we are about to hear is the earliest record we have of a serious dispute in the Christian world. In Acts 10, we read the story that is often referred to as “The Conversion of Cornelius.” If you recall, last week we left Peter in Joppa, where he had raised Dorcas back to life. After that, Peter stayed in Joppa, at the home of Simon the tanner, a man who tanned hides, and therefore was considered unclean -- someone for a good Jew like Peter to avoid. While he was in Joppa, Peter had a vision, which he describes in this text. Meanwhile, a fellow named Cornelius, a God-fearing Gentile, also had a visitation, from an angel of the Lord. Following the angel’s instructions, Cornelius sent for Peter, who came to his house. Peter saw that Cornelius had believed the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and baptized the entire household. It is crucial to recognize, as you hear this story, that in Chap…

Love’s Legacy

Love’s Legacy Acts 9:36-43 April 21, 2013 First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL Christina Berry
Acts 9:36-43 Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became …

Metanoia

Acts 9:1-20 April 14, 2013 First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL Christina Berry
Acts 9:1-6 [7-20] Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For …