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Sermon: Love, Defined.

Sermon.03.25.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Psalm 118.1, 2, 19-29; Mark 11.1-11a//Isaiah 50.4-9a; Psalm 31.9-16; Philippians 2.5-11; Mark 14.1 – 15.47 What tension! What opposites we encounter in this service! On the one hand, Jesus enters Jerusalem in a triumphal procession riding on a donkey while palm branches and their cloaks are placed on the ground before him. He is being hailed as the messiah, as a king. Yet within hours he is betrayed, arrested, and crucified like a common criminal, a thief. Ron Rolheiser reveals another way of perceiving this tension. Up until the close of the last supper, up until the time he left the room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, Jesu

Sermon: John 3.16

Sermon.03.11.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Number 21.4-9; Psalm 107.1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2.1-10; John 3.14-21 John 3.16 is certainly one of the most quoted verses of the Bible if not the most quoted. Well-meaning Christians frequently hang a banner with “John 3.16” from the upper decks of football stadiums. Many people can quote John 3.16, but very few can tell you the larger context. Today’s Gospel reading omits most of the story, so even there we are not given the context. From the verses given to us, one has no idea the story consists of a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a Jewish leader, who visited Jesus by night. He was distinguished, a man

Sermon: An Awesome God!

Sermon.03.04.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Exodus 20.1-17; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 1.18-25; John 2.13-22 The scripture readings for today cover a lot of territory – the ten commandments, a psalm proclaiming the glory of God as revealed in creation and the law, Paul’s proclamation of Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, and Jesus’ zeal for God’s house as seen in the cleansing of the temple. With Lent in mind, what is it that unites these readings? Is there some unifying theme not readily apparent? The Fertile Crescent gave rise to several ancient legal codes, but the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, is radically different in three ways: First, unl

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