First Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Second Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
This week Pastor Rebecca continues her sermon series on the life and faith of Fred Rogers. We’ll hear how he emulated Jesus’ understanding of what “winning” and “success” looks like when Jesus said: “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.” Let’s listen!
First Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Second Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
"Look to the Children" | Who's My Neighbor? Lessons from the Life and Faith of Mr. Rogers, Ep. 2 | Sept. 29, 2019
This Sunday we begin a sermon series titled "Who's My Neighbor: Lessons on life and faith with Mr. Rogers." Fred Rogers was ordained by the Presbyterian church to a special ministry--teaching children on television. For 30 years, he ignored the cultural trends and TV norms and managed to inspire generations of children to follow a path of loving kindness. We begin this week with a reflection on what it means to be a neighbor, inspired by Mr. Roger’s ministry and drawn from the text of Jesus’ parable about the Good Samaritan.
First Reading: Romans 12:9-17
Second Reading: Luke 10:25-37
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said: “Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
Let’s listen as we explore the cost of following Jesus and what it means for how we prioritize our lives.
First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Second Reading: Luke 14:25-33
Labor Day was established in honor of the workers and tradespeople of our nation as a day of celebration and a day of rest. Our faith has much to say about the value of carving out a day of rest each week. In fact, setting aside a day of rest (the sabbath) is one of the ten commandments. Why is rest so central to our faith? What does it mean to "sabbath" in our times? Let's listen as we explore our scripture's wisdom on ways to honor the sabbath and discover the freedom it offers.
First Reading: Isaiah 58:9b-14
Second Reading: Luke 13:10-17
From Jacob's pillow to the Road to Emmaus, people of faith have found God in unexpected places. Perhaps you, too, have had an experience like this of God's presence showing up somewhere you didn't expect to find it. Let's listen as Rev. Rebecca reflects on these experiences, including her own recent experience while listening to Yo-Yo Ma perform Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suites at Tanglewood.
First Reading: Genesis 28:10-19a
Second Reading: Luke 24:13-35
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It's Easter, and we are celebrating! Today we remember the extraordinary claim of our faith: that God’s love is more powerful than the darkest darkness, more powerful than the worst we can do, more powerful even than death!
We begin with our children’s moment, discussing with our youngest members how God has never given up on humanity and how God transforms all the things we do, good and bad, into a new way to express God’s love for us.
Gospel Reading: John 20:1-18
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
Holy Week begins this Sunday as we travel with Jesus into Jerusalem where he is hailed as the Messiah, the long-awaited King by cheering crowds waving palms. What is this strange palm parade about? And how does this same joyous crowd shouting Christ's praises on Palm Sunday end up shouting "Crucify Him!" just four days later?
During this season of Lent, we have been exploring "habits of joy." This week, Rev. Rebecca invites us to examine the relationship between generosity and joy. Contrary to the culture of consumerism all around us, our faith reminds us that possessions and money can never really make us happy. In fact, it is giving and serving that truly fill us with joy. Let's listen as we hear what our scripture readings this week from Paul's second letter to the Corinthians and Jesus' parable of the foolish rich man in the Gospel of Luke have to share about the vital link between generosity and leading a full and joyful life.
During this season of Lent, we have been exploring "habits of joy." This week, we are examining the relationship between listening to God and the joy of purpose and fulfillment. Many of our kids and youth helped lead this week's service, sharing some the things they have been learning in Sunday School the last several weeks. Together with them, we will explore the story of Jesus' visit to Mary and Martha on his way to Jerusalem. This week's sermon is a "guest preacher" - Alex Floyd Marshall, our Director of Children and Youth Ministries. Our journey begins with a dramatization of the story of Mary and Martha-- written by our Sunday School students-- which sets the story in today's world.