Saturday, May 26, 2007

Is This the Way to Do Church?

Here is our text for the week:

Acts 2:42-47

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Here is the same text from The Message:

They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers. Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person's need was met. They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.

Some questions:
  • What do see by reading by these two versions together?
  • What was the focus of these 3,000 freshly baptized men and women?
  • How does "church" today differ from this account?
  • Should it be different today?

What else is on your mind this week?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Your Turn

I am taking off for Michigan after our morning assembly. I am attending Rochester College’s Sermon Seminar, organized and directed by David Fleer. It is a wonderful event. I will be in Michigan until Wednesday night, and then I head for Alabama, along with Kedra, Rebecca, and Ben for Memorial Day. SO I am not preaching next week, SO that means I don’t have a text for us to talk about, SO let’s just talk about whatever you want. I should be able to read/post from Michigan and Alabama, but I’m not sure how often. I guess it depends on how much fun I have or how much excitement I want to share.

What’s on your mind this week?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

What Shall We Do?

Try to enter this story; stand there with the ones who have witnessed the baptism of the Spirit and have heard the shocking proclamation that Jesus is Christ and Lord.

Acts 2:37-41

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

As you read this what are the first things that come to your mind?


  • What in this text strikes you as remarkable?
  • What motivates the question asked by the people?
  • What does Peter tell the crowd to do?
  • What promises are associated with their response?
  • How do you “save yourself from this corrupt generation”?
  • How important is baptism? (Romans 6 is helpful to understanding it better.)

What else is on your mind this week?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

What is the One Thing You Need?

We will temporarily leave our Ancient Future Church series to revisit a wonderful passage.

Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.

She came to him and asked, "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Please take the time to read the broader context, especially Luke 10:25 - 11:13. As you read this what are the first things that come to your mind?

Here are some more questions for you:
  • Do you think this story is a "corrective" to the Good Samaritan parable, which seems to emphasize works? Why or why not?
  • How does the beginning of chapter 11 "fit" with the Martha/Mary story?
  • How would you describe Martha?
  • How would you describe Mary?
  • Which of the two can you identify with?
  • What do you think Jesus means when he says, "only one thing is needed?" What is it?
  • What from this text does our congregation need to hear?
  • How does passage fit with this statement? We are baptized believers participating in the life of God for the sake of others.

What else is on your mind this week?