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Sermon: We Can Be So Right, But Oh So Wrong

Sermon.02.25.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Genesis 17.1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22.22-30; Romans 4.13-25; Mark 8.31-38 We Can Be So Right, But Oh So Wrong “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things” (Mark 8.33b; NRSV). Strong words addressed to Peter; perhaps some of the strongest words Jesus ever spoke, yet, as paradoxical as it may seem, I believe they were spoken in love! What led Jesus to address Peter so sharply? According to Mark, Jesus and his disciples have recently been in Bethsaida, roughly three miles inland from the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus restored a blind man’s sight. They were now en route to some vi

Sermon: Descended Like a Dove

Sermon.02.18.18 St. Pau’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Genesis 9.8-17; 1 Peter 3.18-22; Mark 1.9-15; Psalm 25.1-9 The Gospel of Mark begins with the words, ‘The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (1.1; NRSV). We have heard these words numerous times; imagine hearing them for the first time apart from any knowledge of Jesus Christ. Who is this Jesus Messiah? What do you mean by “the Son of God”? And what is this ‘good news’? Mark would surely have had our attention. Mark then reminds his reader of Isaiah’s ancient prophecy – that a messenger, the “voice of one crying out in the wilderness,” would come to “prepare the way of the Lord.” Mark identifies that messenger as J

Sermon: Three Fundamental Human Needs

Sermon.02.11.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Genesis11.1-9, Psalm 33, Acts 17.26-31; John 10.11-16 The August 25th, 2017 issue of Time has an article by Rev. Brian D. McLaren, a leader of the emergent church movement and author of The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian. McLaren was in Charlottesville as part of the clergy protest countering the Unite the Right Rally. McLaren reports: “I got to look into the faces of ‘out’ Nazis and white supremacists for the first time in my 61 years. And they looked scarily normal. They’re the guys arranging stock at the local big box store or the desk jockeys in a cubicle farm. Decent

Sermon: Less Talking, More Listening

Sermon.02.04.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Isaiah 40.21-31; Psalm 147.1-12, 21c; I Corinthians 9.16-23; Mark 1.29-39 As I have noted in the Messenger, the Collect for the Day collects certain sentiments that are collected from the Epistle and the Gospel. With that in mind, let’s examine the start of the collect: “Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.” Freedom from the bondage of sins and the liberty of abundant life – if God would grant us spiritual freedom from the bondage of sin and the liberty of spiritual abundance through Jesus Christ, why do we see so

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