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Showing posts from October, 2018

To See or Not To See

Mark 10: 46-52
October 28, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

In a week when there was so much sorrow and violence in the news, I considered writing a new sermon, with a different text. But I remembered reading recently what a theologian had said about these times: now, more than ever, we need to hear words of hope. This text is a story of hope, and story of Jesus going up to Jerusalem for his last week, a week of sorrow and violence that ultimately ends in hope. So let’s listen for God’s hope in Mark 10:46-52.

They came to Jericho.
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, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly,
"Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Jesus stood still and said, "Call him here…

On Being Great

Mark 10:35-45
October 21, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

The gospel reading for today comes from the tenth chapter of Mark. Mark’s gospel was written first, before the other three gospels, and provided source material for Matthew and Luke. His spare, urgent style moves us forward briskly through Jesus’ life. Mark’s stories engage us in such a way that we can see ourselves in the story, and if we are open to it, we can identify with the disciples. In this story, James and John, who have followed Jesus from the start, are looking ahead to the future, and wondering what their roles will be. They want to secure a promise from Jesus – not the promise of life abundant, or grace and mercy, but the promise that they will achieve greatness. They seek not a savior, or transformation, but to be made great. Jesus makes it clear that to be great in him is not what they hoped for. Let’s listen for the good news in Mark 10:35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came …