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Showing posts from July, 2018

Dwelling Place

Ephesians 2:13-22; Mark 6:30-34
July 29, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL
Christina Berry

Our first reading this morning is from the letter to the Ephesians. This letter was not written to a particular body or to address a problem. The writer has a vision of the church larger than any one congregation. In Ephesians we see an image of the universal church, all the faithful, made one in Christ, the head of the body. In this scripture reading, the image is of those divided, as if a wall had been built up between them, are now brought together, built up together – united, with no more barriers between them.

Those who were once without God – the Greek word is “atheos” and is only found once in the entire bible – those far away are brought near through Christ Jesus. Let’s listen for Gods gracious word to us in Ephesians 2:13-22

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off
have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both group…

On Heaven’s Bright Shore

Tough Questions series, #6, “What is heaven like?”
Luke 13:29-30, John 14:2-4, Revelation 22:3-7
July 8, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL
Christina Berry

The sixth and final question in our Tough Questions series is “What is heaven like?”

I know it would make a few people very happy if the entire sermon were contained in this one honest answer: “We just don’t know.” But there’s no way the fellowship table can be ready that fast!

The longer answer is that scripture gives us some images that may help us shape our understanding of the life that is to come. The hope we have in the resurrection is an essential element of our faith, and the life to come is a big part of that hope. The hope we have in Christ is that God is present with us in our world, and because of that, we will one day be in God’s presence forever. One way that we talk about that is with images of heaven.

These two verses in Luke’s gospel are part of a much longer speech by Jesus in answer to the question, “Wi…