Church to Go for August 20, 2017: Philippians 2:1-11

Reading: Philippians 2:1-11

Commentary:
– Paul offers the Philippians a vision of Christ: not powerful but humble.
– Paul is writing from prison (Philippians 1:12-14) to urge the church to be unified and to serve each other.
– Where do you see God at work (verse 13) in you? in others? in our church?
– What do you think Paul is trying to say about Jesus and about what that means for us?
– Many scholars think Philippians 2:6-11 is a quote from an existing hymn at that time.
– What are some of your favorite hymns? What do they say about Jesus?

 

Listen to Pastor Emmy’s improv sermon based on worship participants’ questions and favorite hymns:

 

(Read more about Church To Go here.)

Church to Go for August 13, 2017: Galatians 1:1-10, 3:23-4:7

Reading for August 13, 2017: Galatians 1:1-10, 3:23-4:7

Commentary:

– Paul speaks with vehemence to the Galatian church: “WHY are you ABANDONING the GOSPEL?!”

– It seems Paul started a church and then other Christians came in to say “you must also be circumsized” — and Paul is furious.

– Paul is less concerned with the physical act of circumcision and more with how relying on the law undermines the gospel.

– When have you shared something important and found out that it was misunderstood or misused?

– In this letter Paul goes back and forth between anger and compassion.

– How do we know if or when anger is the “right” answer?

 

Listen to the improv sermon based on this story & the congregation’s questions:

Closing litany written by Rev. Elizabeth Rawling & Rev. Jennifer Chrien.

 

(Read more about Church To Go here.)

Church to Go for August 6, 2017: 1 Corinthians 12:4-13, 12:27-31, 13:1-13

Reading for August 6, 2017: 1 Corinthians 12:4-13, 12:27-31, 13:1-13

Commentary:

– Paul writes to the church in Corinth to explain: should all believers have identical gifts?

– Speaking in tongues?? The early church had members who “spoke” in unintelligible babbling — usually a prayer or a prophecy. An interpreter was needed to translate. (1 Corinthians 14:1-25)

– Paul echoes Jesus’ many commands to love one another (like Mark 12:28-31 and John 13-15)

– What “gifts” do you see in yourself? What would you add to Paul’s list?

– Where have you heard 1 Corinthians 13 read?

– The theologian C.S. Lewis wrote about four kinds of love: STORGE (family love), PHILOS (friend love), EROS (romantic love), and AGAPE (unconditional love). Which one do you think Paul means? (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

 

Listen to the improv sermon based on this story & the congregation’s questions:

 

(Read more about Church To Go here.)

Church to Go for July 30, 2017: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-5:11

Reading for July 30, 2017: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-5:11

Commentary:

– Paul writes to the church he started in Thessaloniki, answering their big question: when will Jesus return?

– Paul wrote letters to encourage the many churches he started — sometimes from his prison cell where he had been jailed for preaching the gospel! (He would be very surprised we are still reading his mail 2000 years later!)

– Paul calls the believers adelphoi, “brothers” (like Philadelphia). How should that be translated?
* brothers
* brothers and sisters
* you guys
* all y’all
* beloved

– Paul barely had time to start this church before he was chased out of the city by a mob! (Acts 17:1-9)

– Jesus predicts his dramatic return in Matthew 24 — but gives no timeline.

– Scholars think the new converts were SHOCKED when believers died before Jesus’ return. They expected Jesus RIGHT NOW!

– What have you heard about the return of Jesus? What do you think is true?

 

 

Listen to the improv sermon based on this story & the congregation’s questions:

 

(Read more about Church To Go here.)

Church to Go for July 23, 2017: Acts 20:7-38

Reading for July 23, 2017: Acts 20:7-38

Commentary:

– Paul heads for Jerusalem — knowing danger awaits!

– What’s with this sleepy kid?
* Paul talks from dinner to midnight
* Eutychus falls asleep — and falls out the window!
* The name “Eutychus” literally means “good luck”

– Paul talks from dinner to dawn — what would you have to talk about for twelve hours straight?

– Paul quotes Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Except this isn’t in any of the gospels! What do we think should be in the Bible, but isn’t?

– Why is Paul willing to accept his fate and leave for Jerusalem?

– Paul leaves the elders with a prediction of “savage wolves” — reminding them the key message is GRACE. Where has the idea of “grace” meant something in your life?

 

Listen to the improv sermon based on this story & the congregation’s questions:

 

(Read more about Church To Go here.)