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Sermon: Courage or Fear?

Sermon.06.24.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort I Samuel 17.1a, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49; Psalm9.9-20; 2 Corinthians 6.1-13; Mark 4.35-41 Today’s readings contain several allusions to fear and terror. In I Samuel, we have the David and Goliath story. Goliath, as was the custom, was taunting the Israelites: “Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. . . I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man that we may fight together” (I Samuel 17.8, 10; NRSV). The account then tells us, “When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid” (Vs. 11; NRSV). The author reiterates this fear in verse 24: “All the Israelites, when they saw Goliath,

Sermon: Has He Gone Out of His Mind?

Sermon.06.10.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort I Samuel 8.4-15; Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4.13-5.1; Mark 3.20-35 “When Jesus’ family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind’” How many of you found comfort in the fact that Jesus had family problems? He truly was one with us! All families have problems – these family problems can sometimes be useful. People like to say, “You see, I am not to blame, for I was raised in a dysfunctional family!” This reminds me of the middle schooler who brought home his woefully inadequate report card. His parents asked him to explain. He looked at them, and replied, “I don’t really know if it is due to

Sermon: Is God Calling You?

Sermon.06.03.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort 1 Samuel 3.1-20; Psalm 135.1-5, 12-17; 2 Corinthians 4.5-12; Mark 2.23-3.6 How do we recognize God’s call? How do we know for certain when God is calling us to do something or to enter the ministry? A story Illustrates how easily one may be mistaken. A young farmer noticed a rather peculiar cloud formation which roughly formed the letters G, P, and C. He interpreted this to be a call from God: Go preach Christ! The farmer enthusiastically rushed to the deacons of his country church and insisted that he had been called to preach. Respectful of his ardor, they invited him to fill the pulpit. That Sunday, the sermon was long, tedious, and vir

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