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Showing posts from June, 2019

Wisdom at the Crossroads

Proverbs 8
June 16, 2019
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

Our scripture reading today is from the Book of Proverbs,
a selection from the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Scriptures
that reminds us of the wonder and mystery that is God.
Today is Trinity Sunday in the church year,
but I’m not preaching on the Trinity.
I’m preaching on wisdom, an attribute of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Wisdom as a woman, Sophia, in the Greek,
is often considered to be an expression of God, of the Holy Spirit.
The scripture we’ll read today is poetry,
and as such, needs to be heard and perceived like poetry.
Images and metaphors do more than “just say exactly what you mean.”

Poetry asks something more of us,
the willingness to let the images be, to see them and delight in them,
and to let their truth come to us as if we are hearing a song from a very distant place.

Let’s open our hearts to God’s wisdom in Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31:
Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding r…

Spirit of the Living God

Acts 2: 1-21; John 14:8-17, 25-27
June 9, 2019 Pentecost Sunday
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, IL

The scripture for Pentecost is always from the second chapter of Acts.
That’s the scripture you heard at the beginning of worship,
the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
The gospel reading that is paired with it is a kind of prequel,
a story from John’s gospel in which Jesus predicts and promises
that the Holy Spirit will come as a sign of God’s presence.

The Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us,
the love of God that comes as near as the air we breathe,
the breath of God that sets our hearts on fire,
the fire of God that kindles our souls to loving action.

Let’s listen for the promise of the Spirit,
fulfilled at Pentecost, in John 14: 8-17, 25-27

Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip,
and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you s…