Grace Northeast Sunday Sermons
Making Space — May 19, 2019

Making Space — May 19, 2019

May 20, 2019
FIRST READING Acts 11:1-18
 
The apostles and the believers in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you visit and eat with uncircumcised men?” 
 
Peter explained: “Before all that happened, I was praying, and I saw a vision. It looked like a large sheet coming down from heaven, lowered by its four corners. I stared at it, and I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air -- all kinds of unclean animals. Then I heard a voice: ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ I protested, ‘No, Lord! Nothing unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call unclean.’ This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 
 
“At that very moment three Gentile men arrived at the house, looking for me. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to draw lines between them and us. Six fellow believers also went, and we entered a man’s house, a centurion named Cornelius. He told us how he had seen an angel who told him, ‘Send to Joppa and find a believer named Peter; he will give you a message of salvation.’ And as I began to preach, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as it had upon us; they began to speak in tongues and praise our God. Then I remembered how Jesus, when he was with us, had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So then, if God gave these uncircumcised people the same gift given to us when we believed in Jesus, who was I to hinder God?” When the believers heard this, they were silenced, and then they praised God, saying, “God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.” 
 
 
SECOND READING Revelation 21:1-6
 
The revelator writes: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful like a bride on her wedding day.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
 
“See, the home of God is among people.
God will dwell with them, and they will be God’s people.
God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for everything old has passed away.”
 
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
 
 
THE GOOD NEWS John 13:31-35
 
After Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples, and Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in God, and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the religious leaders so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow.’ 
 
But I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 
 
The Diversity of Valor — May 12, 2019

The Diversity of Valor — May 12, 2019

May 13, 2019
Hebrew Bible: Proverbs 31:10-31  
 
L:  The Hebrew Bible reading is from the book of Proverbs, and is read responsively.
 
L:  A woman of valor, who can find?
   She is far more precious than jewels.
A:  Her husband’s heart will trust in her,
   and with her he will have all he needs.
L:  She brings him good and not trouble
   all the days of her life.
A:  She seeks out wool and flax;
   she works joyfully with her hands.
L:  She is like a fleet of merchant ships, bringing food from a distance.
A:  She gets up while it is still night,
   providing food for her household.
L:  She surveys a field and acquires it;
   from her own resources, she plants a vineyard.
A:  She works energetically;
   her arms are powerful.
L:  She rejoices that her trading is successful;
   she doesn’t put out her lamp, but works into the evening.
A:  She puts her hands to the spindle; 
    her palms grasp the loom.
L:  She reaches out to the needy;
   she stretches out her hands to the poor.
A:  She doesn’t fear for her household when it snows,
   because they are all dressed in warm clothes.
L:  She makes bedspreads for herself;
   fine linen and purple are her clothing.
A:  Strength and honor are her clothing;
   she is confident about the future.
L:  Her mouth is full of wisdom;
   compassionate teaching is on her tongue.
A:  She is vigilant over the activities of her household;
   she doesn’t eat the food of laziness.
L:  Her children bless her;
   her husband praises her:
A:  “Many women act competently,
   but you surpass them all!”
Let her share in the results of her work;
   let her deeds praise her in the city gates.
 
L: The Word of the Lord. A: Thanks be to God. 
 
✠ The Good News Acts 9:36-43 
 
L:  The good news of Jesus Christ, according to the book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapter nine.         
A:  Glory to you, O Lord. 
 
Peter was staying with the believers in Joppa, preaching the good news of Jesus Christ raised from the dead. Now in Joppa, a town nearby, there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha; in Greek her name was Dorcas. (Both words meant “gazelle.”) She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. 
 
While Peter was staying in Lydda, Tabitha suddenly became sick and quickly died. When her friends and family had prepared her body, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples sent two men to Peter, asking, “Please come to us immediately.” Peter went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.”
 
Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.
 
L: This is the gospel, the good news of our Lord.
A: Praise to you, O Christ.
Do You Love Me? — May 5, 2019

Do You Love Me? — May 5, 2019

May 6, 2019

The Good News: John 21:1-19

After he had appeared to the disciples, the risen Jesus showed himself to them again. Gathered at the Sea of Tiberias were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just after sunrise, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know it was him. Jesus called to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.

The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he dressed in his tunic and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish. They were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. 

When they got to shore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish.” So Simon Peter hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

Radical Hospitality — April 28, 2019

Radical Hospitality — April 28, 2019

April 29, 2019

Our guest preacher was our seminarian, Grace Pardun Alworth.

Scripture readings: Genesis 18:1-8, Psalm 23, Luke 24:13-35.

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

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

April 15, 2019

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✠ 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

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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

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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

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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