Christian Behavior

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July 2019

“Shall We Kill Them Now, Lord?”/Luke 9:51-62; Isaiah 29:18-19; 35:5-6; 61:1/Rev. Rodger Allen/6-30-19

By |July 2nd, 2019|Sermons|

Our Gospel passage today is not an especially famous one, but as we shall see, it is a key passage for Luke, in the development of his account of Jesus’ life. We’ll look at the passage in three parts this morning, and you may want to keep it in front of you; we won’t be going, however, exactly in the order of the verses. The first of the three sections is a short one, consisting only of the first verse: “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” The phrase “set his face” attracts our attention, as it is not one we usually use in our everyday speech. Set the table, yes; set your hair, maybe; “set the stage” – but not “set his face.” Yet it is a phrase that makes sense, once we visualize it. To “set” is to place or put; to set one’s face, then, would be to place it pointed toward a certain direction. To set one’s face to go to Jerusalem, then, would mean to face Jerusalem, to look toward the destination of Jerusalem. Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem: he faced the direction he had decided to go next. […]

June 2019

“Living Generously Begins with Trust”/Matt. 6: 19-21, 24; I Tim. 6: 17b; I Cor. 8:1-7/Rev. Rodger Allen/6-2-19

By |June 10th, 2019|Sermons|

             As our Stewardship Committee has  presented to you in the past, we have become convinced of the wisdom of a “year-round stewardship program,” as opposed to one or two Sundays in the Fall, talking about only pledge cards. Stewardship, of course, is about much more than pledge cards; it incorporates use of our talents, our time, our church building and other resources, care of creation . . . And we want to use all those responsibly throughout the year – so we don’t think about “stewardship,” here, only on each second Sunday of November. Our stewardship theme for this year, as readers of our church newsletter know, thanks to Steve Blair, is “Living Generously Begins with Trust”- yes, same as today’s sermon title. And the foundational Bible verse for this year is Second Corinthians 8:7: “But just as you excel in everything . . . in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us . . . see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” […]

May 2019

“Some Good Old Reformed Theology”/I John 3:1-7 (John 21: 1-14)/Rev. Rodger Allen/5-5-19

By |May 8th, 2019|Sermons|

A common theme  for worship services on the Sundays after Easter is . . . well, now what? Where do we go from here? We’ve told our best story; we’ve celebrated our biggest event; we’ve talked about what it means. Now we turn around and look ahead and think about proceeding with everyday life as Christians and as churches, now that the big events are over. Where do we go from here, in light of the Easter message? Who are we, as a post-resurrection community? What do these events lead us to believe, and what do we do about it, now that we’ve seen again what God has done? […]

April 2019

“My Lord and My God”/John 20: 19-31; Acts 2:22-24, 32, 36-39/Rev. Rodger Allen/4-28-19

By |April 30th, 2019|Sermons|

The Christian Church has the difficult task, at this point in the year, of trying to encourage people to celebrate an Easter season – a whole period of days and weeks of Easter – in a culture which always wants us to “move on to the next thing” right away. “O-kay, Halloween was yesterday – put up the Christmas decorations now.” “The new Avengers movie opened last week, I saw it already, what’s this weekend’s blockbuster premier?” It’s like what my young teen nephew once said, who even before he was back out into the parking lot as the Kennywood Amusement Park in Pittsburgh at the end of the day, was already asking, “Can we go to Sandcastle water park tomorrow?” What’s next? What’s the next thrill? Move on to the next thing. […]

“A Brief History of Time: 4. Today: We Respond to God”/Eph. 5: 8-15, 19-20; John 9: 1-41, selected verses/Rev. Rodger Allen/4-7-19 

By |April 16th, 2019|Sermons|

In Part One of our “brief history,” God created us. Male and female, with certain responsibilities to carry out together. In Part Two, we responded . . . by messing up. We reviewed the fact that all human beings, from the very beginning, stray from that which God intends for us. In Part Three, God responded – by reaching out, through Jesus Christ, so that human beings might be reconciled to God in spite of their sin. This did not happen because we deserve it, or because God owes us, but because God loves us and chooses to act on our behalf. Now in Part Four of our series, it’s our turn to respond again: how shall we respond to the love God has shown to us? […]