November 23 Sermon

6th century mosaic from Ravenna, Italy

IN GOD’S COURTS

A sermon preached at Lyonsville Congregational United Church of Christ on November 23, 2014 (Reign of Christ Sunday/Thanksgiving Sunday)

Psalm 100

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

- Matthew 25:31-46

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Today is the last Sunday of the church liturgical year. The Christian Church for many centuries has worked on a yearly calendar that is different from our secular calendar. The church yearly cycle begins with Advent – the season of preparation for the coming of Christ that starts four Sundays before Christmas. Next Sunday will be the First Sunday of Advent. The church calendar then proceeds through the seasons of Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and finally the season known as “Ordinary Time” that lasts through summer and fall. The liturgical year ends with what was traditionally called “Christ the King Sunday” – these days we call it “Reign of Christ Sunday.” It is a day to remember the belief that Christ will rule in glory over all creation. Continue reading

The Good News for December

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December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

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July & August 2014

June 2014

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Upcoming Events

Below is a list of some upcoming events that we will be hosting or participating in. We would love to have you join us!

For details about any of these events, contact the church office.

THANKSGIVING EVE worship service will be Wednesday, November 26, 7:30 p.m. at the Burr Ridge UCC, located at Plainfield Rd. and County Line Rd. in Burr Ridge.

HELP DECORATE THE SANCTUARY for the holidays this Saturday, November 29, starting at 9:00 a.m.

A BRIEF SERVICE OF HEALING and anointing with oil will be held after worship Sunday, November 30.

JOIN US FOR A PRAYER SERVICEIn the Spirit of Taize’” at Ascension Roman Catholic Church in Oak Park on Friday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m. Please sign up if you would like to join us. We will meet at Lyonsville Church to carpool at 6:15 p.m.

EXPERIENCE A LABYRINTH WALK through our peaceful, candlelit labyrinth on Saturday, December 6, 4-6 p.m. Come and go as you wish (it takes about 30 minutes to walk the labyrinth). An introduction to the labyrinth is provided for newcomers.

ADVENT DEVOTIONAL GROUP will meet to discuss the daily readings from the Advent Devotional “Tear Open the Heavens” on Saturday morning December 6, 13, 20, and perhaps January 3, 2015. Sign up for a copy of the devotional and let us know if you will join us.

MOVIE NIGHT Friday, December 12 at the home of Jill and Bob von Trebra. We will gather for a potluck dinner at 6:00 p.m., and show the film starting about 7:00 p.m. Please sign up or call the von Trebra’s so we know how many folks to expect.

November 9 Sermon

Picture1BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING

A sermon preached at Lyonsville Congregational United Church of Christ on November 9, 2014 (Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time/Stewardship Sunday)

   Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

   4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, 6Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. 9And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negeb.

- Genesis 12:1-9

Matthew 25:1-13

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Today is the day in the church year that has come to be known as Stewardship Sunday. Those of you who have been in the church for many years are probably rolling your eyes, but for those of you who might be new to our ways, let me explain. In years gone by, at this time of the year church leaders would come before the congregation and say something like, “We have been putting together a budget for the coming year. Costs are going up, there are some projects we need to do, and some new things we would like to do. So, we think our expenses will go up by about 5% next year. So, we need you folks to give 5% more than you did last year. How much are you willing to give to keep the church going this coming year?” And then, based on what people were willing and able to give, the budget would be accepted or adjusted. Continue reading