Lectionary Readings Sunday, August 31

August 26th, 2014

Revised Common Lectionary (RCL): Jeremiah 15:15-21; Ps, 26:1-8; Rom. 12:9-21; Matt. 16:21-28
FBC Worship: Genesis 1:1-2:3, Psalm 10:1-14, Matthew 6:25-34
This Sunday FBC will begin to use a narrative lectionary during worship taken from Brian McLaren’s We Make the Road by Walking. What would it be like for us if our everyday lives were saturated with awe and wonder at the amazing deeds of our good God?

This Week’s Message

August 26th, 2014

In Sunday’s gospel reading, although Peter recognized Jesus as Messiah and Son of the living God, he was not prepared to accept Jesus’ judgment about next steps for his ministry. Because they would be, shall we say, uncomfortable! This is the time of the church year when we watch Jesus turn toward Jerusalem, struggling to prepare his disciples for what was to come. Even though he already sensed it would cost him his life Jesus so completely trusted in God’s life beyond death he was willing to give his all for the sake of the Kingdom to come. What are we willing to give up for the Kingdom? How is that a reflection of our trust in God?

Sermon: On the Road with Jesus

August 24th, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – On the Road with Jesus

Lectionary Readings and Reflections for Sunday, August 24

August 19th, 2014

Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20
Who do you say that Jesus is? What real difference does it make to you and to the world that the Son of God entered into human history, taught us a radically different way to live, for which he was executed, and then was raised from death by God?

This Week’s Message

August 19th, 2014

On Sunday we saw Jesus rather shockingly treat the Canaanite woman as a dog based on a long enmity between their cultures. Amazingly, she had the fortitude to humbly speak truth to power and woke him up to what he was doing so he gave her the blessing she asked for. If only our dominant U.S. and, yes, Iowa City culture would wake up to the myriad ways we’ve made our Black brothers and sisters our enemies. And then blame them for it. Hopefully the recent tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri will wake us up to hear God’s urgent cry for us to bring justice where there is none so that we all might know salvation in Christ, which is another name for right relationship with God, self and others. Are we awake? What are we willing to risk?

Sermon: Maintain Justice and My Salvation Will Come

August 17th, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – Maintain Justice and My Salvation Will Come

Lectionary Readings and Reflections for Sunday, August 17

August 12th, 2014

Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28
Much human fear springs up in response to encounters with those we consider to be somehow fundamentally “other” than us. All our readings this week suggest this perception of otherness is really a human illusion, though so instinctual it tempts even Jesus. The truly “Other other” (our God) asks us to treat one another as the kindred spirits She creates us to be. Will we?

This Week’s Message

August 12th, 2014

On Sunday we listened in as God whispered liberation to Elijah when he was paralyzed by fear and watched Jesus reach out and save Peter when Peter started to sink into his fears and the Sea of Galilee. It’s not only true that love casts out fear (1John 4:18), it’s also true that fear often blocks out our awareness of God’s presence in times of trouble. Christ made Peter the building block of the church not because his faith was rock-solid – it wasn’t! – but because he was willing to repeatedly die to himself only to find new life in Christ. This mean his own conversion (the breaking open of his heart) and then humbly (and quite publicly) setting out in new directions in response to God’s call.
Hopefully the church – and our congregation – will follow Peter’s example so we can discover what it means to be the Living Body of Christ in today’s world! Please join us Wed. 8/13 at 6:00 as we begin to look at what this might mean for FBC.

Sermon: Take Heart, Come

August 11th, 2014

Dorothy Whiston – Take Heart, Come

Lectionary Readings and Reflections for Sunday, August 10

August 5th, 2014

1 Kings 19:9-18; Psalm 85:8-13; Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33
Reflection for August 10: This week we have another reminder that there is no “Jew nor Greek” – no worthy nor unworthy – in the eyes of God and we also see Peter first walk on the Sea of Galilee in response to Jesus’ invitation to “come” and then sink into the water when fear overtook him. What is the relationship between all being worthy of God’s love freely given and our succumbing to fear blocking out that love? How have you experienced this in your own life and in the wider world?


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