The Great Escape
Acts 16:16-34 and Luke 6:18-19, 22-23
Paul and Silas are in prison, not because they have done anything wrong, but because they have been preaching the word. They are miraculously released from their chains but remain in their cells. The jailor, thinking he will be in deep trouble, is about to kill himself. But they stop him by showing that all the prisoners are still there. Because of their witness of faith, the jailor and all his family come to believe and to accept Christ.
"All Things to All People"
Acts 17:16-31 and John 1:16-18
In this week’s scripture, we see how Paul took the message of Christ to the very heart of ancient learning and philosophy. It was a place not unlike our own in some ways: “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to thelatest ideas.” (Although in our time, we may spend our time listening more to the latest gossip and scandal.) Paul’s message in large part was a warning against idolatry. What idolatries do we have to worry about in our own times?
"Partnership in the Gospel"
Philippians 1:1-18a and Luke 9:46-48
In this moving opening to Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, Paul tells that church how much they mean to him. Paul is writing from prison, and he tells his readers and hearers that his imprisonment is being used as a way to advance the gospel. I, your pastor, am certainly not Paul, and you may have a hard time imagining yourselves as part of an ancient church like the one at Philippi, but whomever your pastor is at any given time, this passage describes the relationship between a loving church and a loving pastor and lays out an example of how we can and should be church together.
"Having the Mind of Christ"
Philippians 2:1-13 and Luke 6:43-45
This week we continue drawing understanding and inspiration from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In today’s scripture, we are told to “have the mind of Christ.” Paul elaborates, telling us of Christ’s humility and willingness to make himself a servant. We are urged to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” to avoid “vain conceit” and to “look to the interests of others.” Of all the writings of Paul in the New Testament, Philippians is perhaps the best reminder of how we Christians should live together with each other and in community with those around us. So much of what we say and do today is judgmental. I, for one, need a frequent reminder to treat others with humility, love, and concern.
We will have a guest speaker.