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Showing posts from October, 2015

What Do You Want Me To Do For You?

Mark 10: 46-52
October 25, 2015
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL
Christina Berry

We continue today with the final reading from the tenth chapter of the gospel of Mark. The central figure in the reading is a blind man. He cannot see, but he has a vision of being healed, and is willing to cry out for mercy to Jesus. The folk around want him to be quiet, but he won’t keep quiet. It is Bartimaeus’ initiative that opens the story, and Jesus respects him in this: “What do you want me to do for you?” he asks.

Bartimaeus: Reader’s Theater on Mark 10:46-52

Narrator: They came to Jericho.

People: Sound effects – crowd noises, a busy roadway, talking, horses, murmuring

Narrator: As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say,

Bart: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Narrator: Many sternly ordered him to be quiet

People: Hush!…

Left and Right

Mark 10:35-45
October 18, 2015
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

Some of you may be aware that much of the time, our scripture selections follow a list of suggested readings called the Revised Common Lectionary. That is a three year cycle of readings selected by an international committee called “The Consultation on Common Texts.” This cycle of readings allows for a church that follows it to cover most of the Bible over a three year period. Sometimes, the readings pair up an Old Testament reading with a gospel reading, and other times there are readings from the epistles. Every week there is a Psalm. Many churches that follow the lectionary use all of the readings every Sunday. In our worship, when we are following the lectionary, we generally use only one or two of the readings.

We tend to follow the lectionary during the school year, because in Christian Education the children and youth can then be studying and learning from the same scripture lessons we use in wors…


Mark 10:2-16
October 4, 2015, World Communion Sunday
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL
Christina Berry

This scripture is actually two stories in three scenes: controversy, at home, and blessing the children. Jesus has left Caparnaum and crossed the Jordan into Judea. The Pharisees, teachers of the law, confront him and ask him to answer question regarding divorce. They try to put him in a corner by asking him to interpret scripture and say something that will create trouble for him. If he answers one way, he is in conflict with Jewish laws on divorce; if he answers another way, he is in conflict with Roman laws on divorce. Either way, it is just three chapters back that Jesus learned of the execution by beheading of his cousin John the Baptist. John’s crime was criticism of Herod for marrying Herodias, who had divorced Herod’s brother in order to marry Herod. In any case, the teachers challenge Jesus, and instead of debating, he turns the conversation on end. Then at home, he discus…