Taking The Sermon Home

Today is Trinity Sunday—a festival devoted to a doctrine, or teaching. Our readings probe at the nature of God as creator, savior, and ever-present guide. 

  • How would you describe the concept of “trinity” to someone outside of the church?
  • What difference does it make to you, that God can be experienced in different ways?
  • When you pray, which aspect of the trinity do you typically image in your mind?  How might your experience be different if you consciously prayed to a different aspect?
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Taking The Sermon Home

Today is Pentecost Sunday—one of the great three festivals of the church year, when we celebrate the presence of God’s Holy Spirit among us.  Both Acts and the Gospel of John describe ways the Holy Spirit is experienced.

  • What was the impact of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of old?
  • How does the Spirit stir the disciples to action, yet also bring peace?
  • What difference does it make to you, to know that God’s Spirit is active in the world?
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Taking The Sermon Home

This Sunday marks the last Sunday in the season of Easter. Ascension Day, as recorded in the first reading from Acts, was last Thursday.  The tour through First Peter continues in the Second Reading, as does the review of Jesus’ final discourse in the gospel of John.

  • Today’s gospel reading is taken from what’s known as Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer.  What is his ardent prayer for his disciples?
  • What do we learn about the way of discipleship from First Peter?
  • Jesus prays regarding those who follow him, “that they may be one, as we are one.”  What needs to change in order for our world to move toward unity?
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Taking The Sermon Home

This morning’s gospel reading picks up where last Sunday’s left off in John 14, where we are in the midst of Jesus’ “final discourse” to his disciples.  It is paired with a speech Paul makes in Athens.

  • Jesus says, If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  What does it mean to you, to love?
  • How does Jesus reassure his disciples as they worry about his departure?
  • Paul asserts to the Athenians that we all are God’s offspring.  What does this imply about the presence of God’s Spirit in humanity?
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Taking The Sermon Home

Today’s gospel text moves to Luke, and the story of the walk to Emmaus.

  • How would you describe the two men walking together, and why do you think they weren’t able to recognize Jesus?
  • What prevents you from “seeing” Jesus?
  • The men’s eyes were opened after Jesus took bread, broke it and gave it to them—imagery of Holy Communion.  Reflect upon your own experience of the Lord’s Supper, and the ways you have known Jesus’ presence...and give thanks.
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Taking the Sermon Home

The readings this morning all relate to the wonder of the resurrection.

  • In the Acts reading, what is Peter’s perception of his role vis a vis his fellow Israelites?  What, to him, is the impact of the resurrection?
  • 1 Peter describes the resurrection as giving us an inheritance.  What is this inheritance, and how does it change one’s present attitude and circumstances?
  • What were the impediments to Thomas’ ability to believe in the risen Christ?
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Taking The Sermon Home

Today Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a water well, and they engage in conversation.

  • Why do you think Jesus was so successful in establishing a relationship with the woman?
  • What did the woman find compelling about Jesus?
  • How do living water, spirit, and truth all connect?

DID YOU KNOW…the final hymn includes the phrase, Here I raise my Ebenezer.  But what is, an Ebenezer?  It is a physical reminder of divine assistance, and in Hebrew means stone of help.  In 1 Samuel 7, the prophet and judge Samuel lifts an Ebenezer when giving thanks for God’s help in Israel’s conflicts with the Philistines.

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Taking The Sermon Home

On this first Sunday of Lent we read from Matthew the temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness after fasting for 40 days. Jesus resists the allure of material goods and power and humbles himself.

  • What does Jesus’ response to temptation say about the kind of a Messiah Jesus is?
  • What do our temptations say about who we are?
  • Lent is a journey of self-examination and self-giving. How can you honor this Lenten journey?
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