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Showing posts from May, 2014

Never Alone

John 14: 15-21 May 25, 2014 First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL Christina Berry


Reader 1: Another reading from the Gospel of John?

Reader 2: You sound as though there is something wrong with that?

Reader 1: Well, Jesus seems more humble in the other Gospels.

John makes him seems more dignified and sedate, and I don't like that as much.

Reader 2: Perhaps that was because the Gospel of John was written much later. It makes me think that maybe we have also gradually made Jesus more aloof or superior. John pictures him, not as biography, but expressing his own faith.

Reader 1: Another thing about this - the way it is written it seems that only those who follow Jesus are loved by God, and I believe that God loves everyone.

Reader 2: More probably, it suggests that those who follow Jesus will be the ones who are more aware of God's love.

Reader 1: One more thing - I think the message is not that God will give us a trouble-free life, but that "We are not alone" - God will be w…

Church Rocks!

1 Peter 2: 2-10 May 18, 2014 First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL Christina Berry
Today’s scripture is from first Peter, one of the letters known as “general epistles.” That means it was written to churches in general, not to a specific church. In this case, the epistle, or letter, was written to churches across a vast expanse of time and geography, because the wisdom contained in it still speaks to the church today – here in Sterling, in the 21st century. The book of First Peter emphasizes the difference that Christ makes in our lives – contrasting what we once were to what we are now. This text serves as a reminder to us, the baptized, of what it means to live as Christ’s own people, both in our personal lives, and as the gathered community – the church. Listen for God’s word to us today in 1 Peter 2: 2-10
2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4Come to him, a living stone, t…

Those Who Are Being Saved

Acts 2:42-47
May 11, 2014
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL
Christina Berry


Did you know that churches have “mystery shoppers” nowadays? Yep, you can find websites that publish church ratings. The mystery guest rates the church on friendliness, the sermon, the music, how they felt, and what happened after the service. Imagine reading a review of this church – it would be five out of five stars, wouldn’t it? The church you are about to hear about was very highly rated by the author of Luke-Acts. This congregation was among the first Christian communities. This comes right after the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit roared into their lives like wind and fire. Jesus has died, and been raised, and gone back to heaven, and now the people are Easter people. A new church has been born. Listen to a review of the early church in Acts 2: 42-47.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 Awe came upon everyone,…