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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…

What Must I Do?

This is my sermon text for October 14, 2018. The text for my message was from the Gospel of St. Mark, Mark 10:17-31. Parts are taken and/or adapted from a previous sermon on this text. +  pBRC

May God’s Grace through the Good News of Jesus Christ be at the center of your lives forever.AMEN.
Sometimes a lesson, or a verse from a lesson, hits a little too close to home and makes it hard to focus on the whole lesson. I’ve been here in Oklahoma City for almost six months now, and the lease in my apartment is up, and I’m waiting to hear from a couple of property management firms early this week about moving into a new place. So the line from today’s Gospel lesson, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions, (Mark 10.22) is personal, because I need to relocate my many possessions, and will need some help in so doing. While I do have a lot of stuff, it isn’t a much as I had six and a half months ago. I got rid of, and left behind a lot of stuff in Wisconsin. One of the…

Original Intent

This is my sermon text for October 7, 2018. The text for my message was from the Gospel of St. Mark, Mark 10:2-16, and the lesson from Genesis, 2:18-24. + pBRC

May God’s Grace through the Good News of Jesus Christ be at the center of your lives forever.AMEN.
I absolutely believe that the lessons and stories that come from the Bible should not be painful or be used to hurt people. They may cause pangs of guilt because of what we may have done or left undone. But if they cause pain, I think we need to go back and really examine the texts because I do not believe that God the creator; Jesus Christ, our Savior; or our advocate, the Holy Spirit intended them to hurt us. I do believe our predecessors in the history of the Church may have twisted God’s word, whether accidentally or deliberately, to cause pain to people who hear it. To really examine a text means to look at every word and every choice used to translate it. It is detailed work, but rewarding because you can see a text in a whole …

Pick A Side

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This is my sermon text for September 30, 2018. The text for my message was from the Gospel of St. Mark, Mark 9:38-5-. + pBRC

May God’s Grace through the Good News of Jesus Christ be at the center of your lives forever.AMEN.
Before I begin, there are two facts recorded in the Gospels that I wish to highlight. First, only one disciple went to be at the foot of the cross. Several of the women who followed Christ went to be with him to the last. Second, when those women went to the tomb on the third day to find it empty, the Risen Christ himself told them to tell his disciples that he was alive. When they did, the men did not believe them, and said they told an idle tale.
Today’s Gospel lesson picks up where we left off last week. Jesus tells his disciples for a second time he will be arrested, killed and be raised on the third day. They didn’t understand. They didn’t ask any questions. They instead argued over which of them was the best. Jesus confronts them with this when they get to Caper…

Trust

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This is my sermon text for September 23, 2018. The text for my message was from the Gospel of St. Mark, Mark 9:30-37. + pBRC
May God’s Grace through the Good News of Jesus Christ be at the center of your lives forever.AMEN.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do? We have all had those times in our lives when, either from a series of cumulative crises crashing into our lives, or from an enormous event eradicating our environment, we have a sense of being overwhelmed. We know we need to do something, but cannot figure out what to do or where to start. We are lost, and while we don’t know which way to go, we know we have to move. For the second time in what we believe to be a few days, those who had given up and walked away from the families, from their homes and from their lives to follow Jesus are told by him that his life, his mission and his ministry are going to soon come to an abrupt and violent end. If you have been blindsided by life, or had the comfort of normalcy taken away,…