Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2013

Rewinding the Year with Scripture and Song

The festivals and seasons of the Christian year (or liturgical calendar) offer a way to order the annual life of the church according to the life of Christ and the events of salvation history. Maybe the liturgical year it is something you have noticed, and wondered about, or maybe it is something that you’ve never paid much attention to. But we cycle through seasons of the year inside the church, just like outside. This Sunday, which is Christ the King Sunday, marks the end of the church year, and next Sunday is the beginning of the new year: the first Sunday of Advent. To mark this change, and to perhaps help us to experience the liturgical year more deeply, this worship service is shaped like the church year – in rewind! You’ll see, as we move through worship, that we will have readings and music that lift up a particular day or Season. You will notice that some seasons focus more on certain texts or ideas. So have fun with this, see what new things you can learn, and e…

Community: Flesh and Blood

Community: Flesh and Blood 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 November 17, 2013 First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL Christina Berry
If you were here last week, you’ll recall that the Thessalonians, the people of Thessalonica who received this letter, were one of the early churches. Thessaloniki, as it was originally called before the Romans took it over, was a walled city, founded in the second century before Christ, and named after the half-sister of Alexander the Great. It was an important city for ocean-going ships, and its deep harbor, built by the Romans, was used until the 18th century.[1] It was also an early outpost of Christianity.
Also important to remember is that this letter was written to the church probably around the year 52-54, so the Gospels were not yet extant. That means that the early church in Thessalonica was composed of people gathering in homes to worship on the Lord’s day. They were operating from what they had learned from the Hebrew Scriptures, our “Old Testament,” …

Justice: A Word for Anxious Christians

Justice: A Word for Anxious Christians

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 November 10, 2013 First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL Christina Berry

2 Thessalonians 1-5, 13-15 As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters,2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. 3Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction.4He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God.5Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? 13But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctifica…

Gospel Non-Sense

Preached at the ordination of Abby Mohaupt at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, California.
Matthew 25:31-46 November 3, 2013 First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto
Matthew 25:31-46 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you h…