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Learning from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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I borrowed the spot in Sunday's CLOKC Clicks from Ananias to encourage each of you to set aside some time on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day  and read, or listen to, the Rev. Dr. King.
I took a course in my Senior year in seminary studying the Church's role in the Civil Rights struggle. During that time, we spent a week at the Rev. Dr. King's library and church in Atlanta. Since then, I regularly set aside time to read and/or listen to his writings, and I especially do so on the day we set aside near his birthday to honor him. You will not regret the time  you invest to hear his words and ideas, which help point the way forward especially now.

Here are  links to many of Rev. Dr. King’s most famous writings and sermons. Some will have audio, and a few video, recordings.
"Letter from a Birmingham Jail" IF YOU ONLY HAVE TIME OR ONLY WANT TO TAKE TIME FOR ONE OF REV. DR. KING'S WRITINGS, READ AND LISTEN TO THIS.
In response to the mistreatment of the citizens of Bir…

Believe

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This is a version of my sermon text for our Midnight Christ Mass, onDecember 24, 2018. The texts for my message were Luke 2:6-14 and John 1:1-4, 9-14. A video recording is below. Merry Christmas! + pBRC

May you always know how much God loves and treasures you.AMEN.
The Gospels contain very different stories about Jesus’ birth. Luke, with an assist from Matthew, tells the story we know best. Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem because of the census. There is no place for them to stay, so she gives birth to her baby amongst the animals, and lays him in a feeding trough for his first crib. Matthew adds in the Wise Men and the escape as refugees to Egypt from the insane tyrannical ruler. This is the story we know and that is at the focus of our celebrations during this time of the year. But John begins differently. John begins back at THE Beginning. John also gives away the ending, because that’s the type of Gospel writer that John is. But in the Spoilers that John gives us are the true Good News…

Come All Ye Faithful, and Those Whose Faith Needs to Be Filled

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This is a version of my sermon text for our Christmas Eve service (7:00 pm), onDecember 24, 2018. The text for my message was Luke 2:1-20. A video recording is below. Merry Christmas! + pBRC

May you always know how much God loves and treasures you.AMEN.
Shepherding was not a glamorous vocation back in the single digit years. It was the job of last resort. If you couldn’t do anything else, become a shepherd. You didn’t have to learn a skill, other than counting. You had to be willing to chase off, and sometimes fight off, wild animals. You had to be willing to spend a LOT of time outside. But one thing about being a shepherd was that you were exempted from attending worship. Actually, you were uninvited. By spending all of that time outdoors and around animals, they were judged unclean by the laws and traditions of the day. By being ruled to be ‘unclean,’ they were not allowed in the Temple or synagogues until they proved they were clean to the rabbis and chief priests. That meant they ha…

The World Is About To Turn

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This is a version of my sermon text for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, December 23, 2018. The text for my message was Luke 1:39-55.The references to hymns being sung were completely applicable at St. Mark, for Ascension and Redeemer, your mileage may vary.  The audio recording of this message from St. Mark is here, as is a video recording of the message from Ascension. The audio isn't great on the video, but not horrible for the first attempt. + pBRC



May you always know how much God loves & treasures you.AMEN.
If you believe that you have never heard of the Virgin Mary’s revolutionary song of praise known as the Magnificat and have attended any of our Sunday or Wednesday Advent services this year, I hope you enjoyed your collective naps. Each Sunday during Advent, our Call to Worship and Greeting, as well as parts of our prayers and communion liturgy have quoted or alluded to the Magnificat. Each Wednesday, the focal hymn and the preceding Gospel reading were from the Magnificat. W…

Justified + Let There Be Peace On Earth And Let It Begin With Me

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This is a version of my sermon text for October 28, 2018, Reformation Sunday. The text for my message was from Romans 3:19-28. This combines a couple of versions. Parts that were in my initial draft that I cut for length when I realized I needed to speak about the terrorist shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue will be in the serifed font. On the CLOKC.church website there are audio versions from both Redeemer and St. Mark because my journeys off script went in different directions, and so I included both versions.+ pBRC
May God’s Grace through the Good News of Jesus Christ be at the center of your lives forever.AMEN.
Before I begin, I want to point out another place where the power of understanding Scripture is in the hands of the translator. The English words "righteousness" and "justify" actually translate the same Greek term. The word δικαιοσύνης (dee KAI oo soo nay) can be translated as righteousness, which we take as being morally correct, or justify, which we…

Serve

This is my sermon text for October 21, 2018. The text for my message was from the Gospel of St. Mark. I added to the lectionary reading using Mark 10:32-45. + pBRC
May God’s Grace through the Good News of Jesus Christ be at the center of your lives forever.AMEN.
People become selfish when they think something is scarce. It is the whole concept upon which our financial markets are organized. If you think there is a limited number of something, whatever it is, you want to be sure that you get yours. And, you may try to get someone else’s as well. Think of the way people act when they are Christmas shopping and a store has a ‘limited number’ of whatever that year’s popular toy or game is. Remember Tickle Me Elmo? Cabbage Patch Kids? It is the reason why Beanie Babies became popular. Scarcity, whether real or perceived, causes people to abandon their feelings of generosity and altruism and focus on self-interest and self-preservation. It isn’t limited to getting you kids or grandkids what the…