Church by the River


Join us for dinner and Bible study at 6:00 Thursday evening

Week Two September 17, 2020

Jesus’ recorded words offer us more than the chance to eavesdrop on ancient conversations. They are words for us today. The way each gospel writer organizes and presents their experience of the incarnate Christ matters. Consider each writer’s purpose and the words chosen to introduce the reader to Jesus.

Matthew highlights Jesus’ fulfillment of Jewish history. 3:15 “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” These first words confirm Jesus’ intent to continue, not destroy, the relationship of God and people.

Mark illustrates Jesus’ radical movement of conflict and discipleship. 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Jesus’ first words announce his urgency of his purpose and call for hearers to choose a side.

Luke portrays Jesus’ life and times with a formative storyline. 2:49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” The boy-Jesus’ words to his anxious mother show that his entire life was one of purpose and revelation.

John celebrates Jesus’ divinity and mystery. 1:38,39 “What do you want?” . . . “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” No more important question was ever asked, nor a more urgent invitation ever issued.

Imagine these words, paraphrased from Matthew through John, as Jesus’ call to you today, “I am the one for whom all the world has been waiting. Today is the day to decide. You have searched the world of idols, but I am not there. What do you truly seek? Follow me and you will find truth.”

Week Three we will study Jesus in the wilderness found in three gospels, Matthew (ch 4), Mark (ch 1), Luke (ch 4).

Church by the River

a PC(USA) congregation

102 Main Street - Keokuk IA 52632

(319) 524-5493

Sharing Love

  • Reaching with love

  • Calling toward God

  • Learning through living

  • Uniting in Christ

This week's sermon looks at Jesus' surprising workplace parable. Matthew 20:1-16

Jonah 3:10-4:11, Psalm 145, Philippians 1:21-30

Join us for worship at 9:00 Sunday morning

We have a casual style and worshipful attitude and a classic four-fold order:

  • we gather in humility

  • we hear the Word in sermon and song

  • we respond with commitment and communion

  • we bear witness in the world

Come to the table, celebrate communion on the first Sunday each month.

COVID-19 worship adjustments include:

  • distancing upon entering, exiting, and within the sanctuary

  • humming rather than singing

  • masks as each one is comfortable

  • no passing trays for offering or communion

  • smiles from a distance