Grace Northeast Sunday Sermons
The Time of Trial — April 14, 2019 (Palm Sunday)

The Time of Trial — April 14, 2019 (Palm Sunday)

April 15, 2019


✠ Gospel                                                Luke 19:29-40

 L:  Jesus went ahead of the disciples, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village, and when you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 

So they left, and found the colt just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, 

All:  “The Lord needs it.” 

 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As Jesus approached the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,

 A:  “Blessed is the king
    who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
    and glory in the highest heaven!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if they were silent, the stones would shout out.”


The Good News Luke 22:24-31,34-46

 L:  The good news of Jesus Christ, according to the gospel of 
      Luke, chapter twenty-two.         A:  Glory to you, O Lord.

 The disciples began to argue about which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are considered benefactors. But it shall not be so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the least, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I grant to you a kingdom, just as my Father granted to me; you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” 

All:  “Lord, look, here are two swords.” 

L:  He replied, “It is enough.”

 He left and went, as he often did, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. He said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”  

 When he got up, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping, exhausted from grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”


Forgive Us Our Sins — April 7, 2019

Forgive Us Our Sins — April 7, 2019

April 8, 2019



The Good News Matthew 18:10-35

 Jesus put a child in the midst of the disciples, and taught them: “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; I tell you truly, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained them. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the whole church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” 

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.


“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. One who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him, and he could not pay. So his master ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master forgave him the debt. 

“But that same servant, as he went out, came upon a fellow servant who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ The other servant fell on his face and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; he threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were deeply distressed, and they reported everything that had happened to their master. Then the master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow man, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Enough Bread for Today — March 31, 2019

Enough Bread for Today — March 31, 2019

April 1, 2019


Reading from the Hebrew Bible: Exodus 16:1-4,13-21,31

The Good News: John 6:1-21

Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the miracles he was performing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.

When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread for them?”

Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”

One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?”

Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” The place was green and lush, so they sat down, about five thousand men with women and children.

Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks to God, he gave them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.

When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

The Coming Kingdom — March 24, 2019

The Coming Kingdom — March 24, 2019

March 25, 2019

Postcard_for_03242019.pngReading from the Hebrew Bible: Isaiah 55:1-56:8

The Good News: Matthew 13:24-53


Jesus taught them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants sprouted, the weeds appeared as well. And the fieldworkers came and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ They said to him, ‘Should we go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No; if you gather the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Jesus put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened. 

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

 “The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 


Hallowing the Name — March 17, 2019

Hallowing the Name — March 17, 2019

March 18, 2019


Jesus was praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.

I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Teach Us To Pray — March 3, 2019
Doormats for the Kingdom? — February 24, 2019

Doormats for the Kingdom? — February 24, 2019

February 25, 2019

The Good News: Luke 6:27-38

Jesus said, “Here: I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

Behold What You Are, Become What You Receive — January 13 2019

Behold What You Are, Become What You Receive — January 13 2019

January 14, 2019

Scripture for the day:

Isaiah 43:1-7

Thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, who formed you, O Israel:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
For you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your scattered children from the east,
and from the west I will gather you;
I will say to the north, "Give back those you have taken away,"
and to the south, "Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away,
my daughters from the end of the earth,
every child that was taken from me--
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."


Luke 3:1-17,21-22

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod Antipas was ruler of Galilee, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah while he was in the wilderness. He traveled through all the region around the Jordan River, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make God’s paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made level,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all people shall see the salvation of God.’”

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We are safe, for we have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God could raise up children of Abraham from these river stones. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

And the crowds asked him, “Then what should we do?” He answered, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

The people’s hearts were full of expectation, wondering if John might be the Messiah. John answered all of them, saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him, in a physical form that looked like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”


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Star Words — Sunday January 6, 2019

Star Words — Sunday January 6, 2019

January 8, 2019

Scripture for the day is Matthew 2:1-23, the story of the magi's visit to Bethlehem and the massacre of the innocent children by King Herod.

Participants in the sermon were invited to draw a "star word" from a box.

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How the Grinch Learned the Magnificat

How the Grinch Learned the Magnificat

December 12, 2018

"How the Grinch Learned the Magnificat" by Pastor Emmy Kegler
Mary played by Casey Velcko; the Grinch by William Schar; Cindy Lou Who by Sheena Schar.

Full text of parody available at