March, 2017

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“Lord, I Believe” John 9:1-41

Click the link above to hear the sermon from Sunday, March 26, 2017

Blessings as always.

picture credit–
      photo credit – www.LumoProject.com

 

John 9:1-41   (RSV)

A Man Born Blind Receives Sight

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Silo′am” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he”; others said, “No, but he is like him.” He said, “I am the man.” 10 They said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Silo′am and wash’; so I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

The Pharisees Investigate the Healing

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was a division among them. 17 So they again said to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if any one should confess him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him.”

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if any one is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

Spiritual Blindness

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of man?”[a] 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe”; and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, “Are we also blind?”41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

Footnotes:

  1. John 9:35 Other ancient authorities read the Son of God

Revised Standard Version (RSV)Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Who Knows You?” Romans 5:1-11

photo credit- Linnaea Mallette via  publicdomainpictures.net  thank you

Romans 5:1-11 (RSV)

Results of Justification

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Born of the Spirit”

Born of The Spirit – March 12, 2017 – John 3:1-17  Click the link below to hear the sermon .

 

Waterfall among Rocks – photo credit: Petr Kratochvil  via PublicDomainPictures.net

John 3:1-17 (RSV)

Nicodemus Visits Jesus

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode′mus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicode′mus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” Nicode′mus said to him, “How can this be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

“Throwing Stones at the Pigs

 

Photo courtesy of Michael Stirling VIA   PublicDomainPictures.net  Thank you Michael Stirling.

Click on the link to hear the sermon message form this Sunday, March 5, 2017

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2 And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.
3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them;
9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'”
11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.

Matthew 4:1-11 RSV

Ash Wednesday Audio Message

Today I am posting the audio from the Ash Wednesday 2017 service which we shared with First Presbyterian Church in Plainview  at their church. Thank you FPC for sharing this special day with us. I have only included the scripture reading (I was further away during this) and message that our Pastor Richard Dye  shared with us last evening. May you be blessed in the hearing of Gods word .

As always,

Michelle

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday. This marks the beginning of the Lent season for those of us that observe by going through the Christian ritual of penance and transformation. We will be joining together with First Presbyterian Church tonight for this service at 2101 Utica St, Plainview, TX. Please Join us beginning at 6:00 pm this evening.

Genesis 3:19 (RSV)

19 In the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

March Newsletter

Newsletter, March, 2017

 

The liturgical season of Epiphany has run its course. We have celebrated the season of Epiphany with the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, the first miracle, and finally, the Transfiguration of Jesus. We marked the ministry of Jesus with the words of the Sermon on the Mount. Those days have truly flown by—seems like yesterday we were opening Christmas gifts and sharing glad tidings of great joy with friends and family. Oh, how fast time flies, how fast the year goes by, when we look at it in terms of the calendar of the church.

Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of 
notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation 
was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and
meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer. (The Book of Common Prayer, 1977)

I use the above words every year, at this time, in some corporate form, to remind us, and especially me, that the road to the cross for Jesus, and for us, is one filled, at times, with pain and heartbreak and bitterness, along with what seems to be the gut-wrenching truth about life and the world in which we live and move and have our very being.

So…Hey, Preacher—you’re telling us about our world, and yet, you say that, in the blessed and holy Lent that we seek to experience, we need to fix ourselves. EXACTLY. We can only “fix” that which is around us, as we can fix ourselves. We can only love others, as we can love ourselves.

Prayer, fasting, self-denial—it can reasonably be our way of life this Lent, these 40 days that represent Jesus’ time in the wilderness, these 40 days that will culminate in the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the betrayal, the crucifixion of Jesus.

I like to think of Lent as an opportunity to experience self-examination—for me, personally, and in things that I do and the way that I conduct my life. I hope that you can do the same.

I need to give up chocolate, sweets, red meat, soft drinks—I could go on and on. And not to demean or trivialize giving these things up—that’s important. It’s important to do such because it gives me, or you, a chance to experience the self-discipline that many of us so need in our lives. But I also think of it as a chance to take something on, or experience something at a higher level that the way that we have been experiencing—such as reading and studying Scripture, or our quiet time and our prayer life, or giving time and/or financial aid to a worthy cause.

In your weekly email (some of you, I know, don’t do email—you receive a card each week with such information), I will include daily Bible readings for the week. You may use these at your convenience and discretion, but it is good discipline to read your Bible every day.

Giving something up, taking something on—these are great ways to experience the virtue of self-discipline. I know God expects more out of me. You should expect more out of me. I expect more out of me. And the same goes for you, too.

Our blessed and holy Lent begins Wednesday evening with our Ash Wednesday, which we are sharing with our friends at First Presbyterian Church. It will include the sacrament of Communion, along with the Imposition of Ashes. It begins at 6:00 PM. First Presbyterian Church is located at 2101 Utica. I hope to see you there.

Blessings and peace,

Richard+