Favorite Verses

1. John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

3. Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...

4. 2nd Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousnes...

5. Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

 

 

 

 

Leading us in worship:   Rev. Matthew Froeschle 

Sunday Worship Schedule 

Worship Service
9:30 a.m.
Children's Church
9:45 a.m.
(after Children's Chat)
 

 

                         “Jesus Shows Up”
              A sermon by the Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle
 
OLD TESTAMENT READING - Psalm 4
Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
    You gave me room when I was in distress.
    Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame?
    How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?
But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.
When you are disturbed, do not sin;
    ponder it on your beds, and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
    Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”
You have put gladness in my heart
    more than when their grain and wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.
NEW TESTAMENT READING - Luke 24:36-48
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself.  Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”  And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.”
SERMON - “Jesus Shows Up”
I find Jesus’ questions in this passage comical.  Don’t you?  His poor disciples have been through an absolutely horrid weekend, and then their best friend Jesus, whom they thought was dead, shows up out of the blue and asks “Hey guys, why are you freaking out?”
I’m surprised that Peter, who is usually pretty quick to speak up, isn’t recorded as saying something along the lines of “Um… you were dead and now you’re not.  I think FREAKING OUT is a pretty understandable reaction!”
And Jesus’ next question was: “Have you anything here to eat?”, which I also find hilarious.
I mean, yes, from a theological standpoint it is one of those things that the disciples intentionally included in the story to help everyone understand that the gospel is about Jesus’ physical resurrection, not just an allegory or symbolism.
But in the context of Jesus suddenly showing up NOT DEAD anymore, it’s such a chill thing for Jesus to say.  “Man, I haven’t eaten for three days.  Got any fish?”
If the gospel doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t think you’re taking it seriously enough.  I mean, God pulling a fast one on death is the biggest prank ever.  Jesus is like the first century host of PUNK’D.
Pastor Mary Wright of Charleston and I were talking about this passage on Thursday, on our ride back from a Committee Meeting down in Effingham, and Mary said that her favorite words in this passage are “While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering.”
We might put it this way: “they found it too good to be true.”  If the disciples spoke colloquial English, they would probably have been asking each other to pinch them.
One of the things that sets these gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection apart from other ancient myths is the fact that the people in these stories react as we would.
In myths or in other fairy tales, the characters are more likely to take what we would consider supernatural or magical events for granted.  A frog tells a princess that he’s actually a prince.  She kisses it.
That is NOT how a normal human female would be expected to react to a talking frog.
But the disciples’ shock in the gospel narrative makes sense.  So Jesus’ questions seem funny to me.  I mean, Jesus was showing them that they should have listened closer and trusted him, but it’s hard to blame the disciples for their doubts.
The Bible Study that Jesus’ offers as a follow-up to his questions, though, is remarkably coherent and equally wonderful.  As Jesus enjoys some fresh fish, He takes time between bites to explain to His disciples how God had been planning for all of this in order to solve humanity’s sin problem.
He goes on to teach how the message of God’s love and victory over death was to become a worldwide message of hope.  It was all hinted at in the Old Testament, and now it’s come to fruition.
In the Psalm Jerry read - Psalm 4 - it was written:  “There are many who say, ‘O that we might see some good!  Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!  You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.’”
This is the intoxicating gladness - the presence of the living Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of His disciples.
I know there are plenty of reasons for us to be gloomy, frightened, and sorrowful.  The Bible doesn’t gloss over the horrors humanity has committed, or the frightening dangers around us.  The Bible doesn’t pretend that life is easy, or that pain isn’t real, or that death doesn’t matter.
But neither does our Bible shy away from the astonishing good news of a Savior who loves us, who conquers death, and who shows up even when we are least expecting Him.
I know that many people laugh at the church’s teachings about heaven as mere wishful thinking and “pie in the sky” fantasy.  We may even feel embarrassment, or a timidity about proclaiming these things, out of our own legitimate feelings of doubt.
But here’s the thing - as C.S. Lewis said - either there is “Pie in the Sky” or there isn’t.  And the God we trust - the God who revealed Himself through Jesus - the Christ to whose resurrection countless men and women have testified - promises us that there is life beyond death.
He shows up with us.  He eats fish with us.  And He helps us to make sense of that big, difficult Bible.  He beautifully summarizes its message.
It’s this beautiful message that we continue to witness about today.  It’s a message of God’s forgiveness of our sin - and God’s love which is stronger than death.  Jesus alive - that is what we preach to all, and what we teach to our children.
I may be a fool, but each day Jesus Christ continues to shape my life, and I continue to give testimony that he is a living presence in our midst, and is the best friend a person can have.
He loves you, even when all of this sounds too good to be true.
Amen.

                           

 

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Adult Bible Class

The class meets at 8:30 am on Sunday morning.  Please join for this lesson and lively discussion time before the worshp service. 
Everyone welcome.

 Worship Service

Please join us for Sunday Worship at 9:30 a.m.  Let us be your church as you're passing through town, or your church home throughout the year.  We invite you to worship with us.  Children may stay in the sanctuary or go to Children's Church after the Children's Chat with the Pastor.  During the worship service, we worship God through scripture reading, listening to the sermon, prayer, responsive readings, hymn singing, special music, and reflection.

Children's Church

During the 9:30 a.m. worship service, Children's Church is offered for children ages 4-12.  Childlren are in the sanctuary until after the Children's Chat with the Pastor.  Children's Church is a service where kids learn through scripture, stories, and music tailored to their age group.

 

First Presbyterian Church is a Family of Faith. 

Like many families, we:

*Support one another.  Troubles are shared and burdens are lifted hrough requests to the Prayer Team, prayer requests made during worship, and conversation over coffee, etc.

*Share a common outlook.  Presbyterians are dedicated to hearing and acting on scripture.  We listen to what the Bible has to say through sermons and studies.  We carry out what we learn and believe through our daily lives and in missions at home and abroad.

*Nuture Children.  Outreach within and outside our church happens through Sunday School, Kids' Club, Youth Groups, LOGOS retreats, Camp Carew, and Vacation Bible School.  We help children "grow up in Christ."

*Care for the Elderly.  Members of the "Sunshine Brigade" conduct Christian care visits with shut-ins and those who live in skilled care settings.

*Help neighbors in need.  Friends and families reach out to others in the Church when help is needed.  In addition, members of the First Presbyterian family serve the community through programs like the Food Bank, Peace Meals, PADS homeless and transient shelter, etc.

*Grow.  Families have a habit of growing.  Our Family of Faith grows with those who are beginning or renewing their trust in Jesus Christ.  Please consider what Christ means to you, and experience God's love through First Presbyterian Church.