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Showing posts from April, 2014

The Roar of the Crowd

Matthew 27: 33-54 April 13, 2014 First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL Christina Berry
Today is a Sunday that always presents preachers with a huge question:  Palms or Passion? In other words, is our focus on the triumphal entry of Jesus  into the city of Jerusalem, the week before his resurrection? Or will our focus be on the passion of our Lord  in those hours that led up to the cross? The answer for us today is both.  
As we have done in the past, today we began much like Jesus began his last week – in joyful celebration.  We have processed with the palms and joined our voices in singing Hosanna. But in the background stands the cross, on a hill called Golgotha, the place of the skull.  We know that after the shouts of Hosanna, the crowd will, within days, be shouting, “Crucify him!”
Jesus has entered the city and has been speaking in parables, confounding the wisdom of the religious leaders.  He has answered their challenging questions.  They tried to trap him by asking, “What …

Sensing the Glory of God: Good Taste

Sensing the Glory of God: Good Taste Matthew 26: 17-30 April 6, 2014 First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL Christina Berry
17On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?" 18He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, "The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.' " 19So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal. 20 When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; 21 and while they were eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me." 22 And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, "Surely not I, Lord?" 23 He answered, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son…