Lectionary Readings and Reflections for Sunday, April 20

April 15th, 2014

Easter Sunday ~ Jeremiah 31:1-6; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Acts 10:34-43; John 20:1-18
Love wins! In raising Jesus to Life that is beyond sin and death (but includes them), that is beyond time and space (but includes them), God shows us in a most amazing and definitive way the power of Divine Love to overcome absolutely everything that limits, demeans or denies Life. Can we imagine how wonderful our world would be if we fully entrusted our lives to (“believed in”) the Risen Christ? If we truly believed Love wins?

This Week’s Message

April 15th, 2014

On Sunday Kristin Marrs reflected with us on the power of fully embodied worship, from eating and drinking the Body and Blood of Christ, to mindful, reverent singing, to prayerful gestures and more. We began Palm / Passion Sunday shouting for joy and waving palms as we re-enacted Jesus’ grand entry into Jerusalem. And then we heard the woeful story of how the world’s (our) violence tortured and killed God Incarnate. And then, once again, we fed on the Body and Blood of Christ as we remembered – were re-membered and made whole by — God’s transforming mercy and forgiveness. During this Holy Week we’re invited to join Jesus on the Way of the Cross, the path of descent and surrender even unto the death of our ungodly selves and ways, so that we might be born to holy New Life with Christ on Easter. Are we willing to go that route?

Sermon: Obedient to the Point of Death

April 14th, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – Obedient to the Point of Death

Lectionary Readings and Reflections for Sunday, April 13

April 8th, 2014

Palm Sunday ~ Matt. 21:1-11; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matt. 26:14-27:66
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is a wonderful image of God moving toward us, always seeking us out to heal and free us. It’s street theater at it’s best, with Jesus enacting and fulfilling various elements of the Hebrew Rite of Atonement, a rite that celebrates God’s on-going creation and restoration of the world — us included and even in the face of suffering and death, thanks be to God!

This Week’s Message

April 8th, 2014

The penultimate sign in John’s gospel is Jesus raising Lazarus, a pretty spectacular miracle. As with all the signs John the Evangelist includes, it’s important to look at who and what the sign points to – God at work on our behalf in the world — more than to dwell on the sign itself. Jesus’ raising of Lazarus is an opportunity for his followers to understand a little better Jesus’ own death and resurrection, which will shortly follow. It is a “dress rehearsal” that will hopefully encourage them to stand by and witness things unfold from God’s life-giving hands, hands that always hold death within a greater Life. As we approach Easter, are we ready to let God hold us in a whole and holy New Life even if it means letting go of the culturally dictated death-tinged life we’re so familiar with and attached to?

Sermon: Signs of New Life

April 7th, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – Signs of New Life

Sermon: Seeing is Believing

March 31st, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – Seeing is Believing

Lectionary Readings and Reflections for Sunday, March 30

March 26th, 2014

4th Lent ~ 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41
John’s gospel is an amazing work of art; story upon story that take us more deeply into the heart of God until we come face to face with ourselves and are thus set free. What about God’s presence makes it possible – and safe – to see humankind and ourselves as we really are? Or conversely, what makes spiritual blindness so attractive to us?

This Week’s Message

March 26th, 2014

The rather strange conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well makes more sense, or at least a new kind of sense, when read as a conversation of courtship! Just before this story in John’s gospel John the Baptist describes Jesus as a bridegroom come to claim his bride. Then Jesus essentially seduces this woman, an outcast among outcasts, using word play and other odd leaps (from a drink of water to waters of eternal life to husbands – huh?!) to entice her into deeper and deeper intimacy. It really does read just like the flirtatious banter of courtship. And then suddenly their relationship becomes generative and she brings forth new children of God! Jesus chooses the least of the least to be his bride so the rest of us sinners might also be lured into loving union with God, a love always poured out for us in grace and never earned by our merit. Are we ready to become brides of the crucified, risen and prodigal Christ at Easter?

Sermon: Hope Does Not Disappoint

March 23rd, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – Hope Does Note Disappoint

 

Home  -  First Baptist Church   -   500 North Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240   -   319.338.7995

Facebook

Twitter