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Showing posts from August, 2018

Church Architecture

1 Chronicles 28: 1-10, 20; 1 Kings 6: 1, 7, 11-14, 37-38
August 26, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry



Today is our second in the series on King Solomon, son of King David. Solomon was king around 970 to 930 BCE and is revered in all three Abrahamic religions. The Jewish tradition considers him to be the greatest king of ancient Israel. In the Muslim faith, he is called “Suleiman.” In Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, Solomon’s wealth, wisdom and wives – he had hundreds! – are the stuff of legend. When Solomon ascended to the throne of Israel, the Davidic dynasty was established. The kingdom under Solomon was organized, wealthy, and powerful. Last week, we learned about Solomon’s wisdom; today we learn about his legacy, particularly the building of the first temple in Jerusalem. King David had wanted to build the temple, but God forbade him, so he charged his son Solomon with the task. Let’s listen for God’s word to us in 1 Chronicles 28: 1-10, 20:

David assem…

Wise Guy

1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
August 19, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

This Sunday, we begin a three-week series on King Solomon,
a legendary king of Israel, and the son of King David.
If I asked you the first three things that come to mind
when you hear the name Solomon, my guess is that they might be
splitting the baby, King of Israel, and wisdom.
Probably three other popular associations would be
the hundreds of wives and concubines Solomon had,
the great wealth he had, and the building of the temple.

As we begin to consider the life of Solomon,
let’s recall a little bit of his family story.
Ancient Israel was first governed by judges,
wise men and women called by God to lead the people.
But Israel wanted a king.
“All the other nations have a king,” they said. “Why can’t we have a king?”
God told them that kings would draft their sons to fight in wars,
and tax them, and take their daughters away to marry,
but they insisted, and at last G…

More Than We Can Imagine

Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-14
August 5, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

Our first reading comes once again from the letter to the Ephesians. The letter doesn’t seem to be addressing any particular problems; it is a loving letter of concern to a Christian community to give guidance on living as the body of Christ, in love and unity. In this reading, the writer pauses in teaching to offer a prayer. Let’s listen for what the Spirit is saying to the church in Ephesians 3:14-21:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to kn…