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Showing posts from November, 2019

Treasure Hunt

Luke 12:22-34
November 24, 2017
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

In the twelfth chapter of Luke,
Jesus has been warning his disciples of the traps and seductions of wealth;
he also makes it a point to teach them not to fear persecution, or death,
but to only fear the outcome of a Godless life.

Just before today’s text, he tells the parable of the rich fool.
A successful farmer has such a bumper crop that his barn won’t hold it.
The man’s solution to this problem is to build bigger barns, to store it all.
But, Jesus says, God said to him, ‘You fool!
This very night your life is being demanded of you.
And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves
but are not rich toward God.”

Then Jesus gives a discourse on what we ought to value,
and where we should direct our devotion.
Let’s listen for God’s gracious word to us in Luke 12:22-34

He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about yo…

The Welcome Table

Proverbs 25:6-7
November 17, 2017
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

Our first reading comes from the book of Proverbs.
The book of Proverbs is “a manual of instruction for wise living.
Its purpose is to teach students of every type: old and young,
experienced and na├»ve, wise and not-so-wise.”[1]
The first verses of the book describe its purpose:
“for learning about wisdom and instruction,
for understanding words of insight,
for gaining instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity;
to teach shrewdness to the simple, knowledge and prudence to the young –- let the wise also hear and gain in learning,
and the discerning acquire skill,
to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

The advice about table etiquette presented in Proverbs 25:6-7
is not simply about navigating the royal court, but, more broadly,
it is about an orientation to the world
that is grounded in a theological conviction.
How one treats others …


Luke 20:34-38; Haggai 1:15b-2:9
November 3, 2019
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Christina Berry

Our gospel reading this morning finds Jesus in Jerusalem.
It is the final week of his life.
He has entered the city, riding on the back of a donkey,
to the cheers and excitement of the people who believe
that he will be the one to save them.
And he will, but not in the way they think.
In this reading, Jesus has been confronted by religious authorities
who hope to trick him or trap him into saying something wrong.
They’ve asked him one of those ridiculous hypothetical questions
about what happens to marriage in the afterlife
if a person has been married, widowed, married, widowed, etc.

It’s interesting that the Sadducees, who are asking this question
do not believe in the resurrection after death.
But Jesus isn’t going to play their game.
Let’s listen for God’s word to us in Luke 20: 34-38

Jesus said to them,
"Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage;
but th…