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Sermon: Come to the Table

Sermon.07.29.18 St. Paul’s -- Brookings Fr. Larry Ort 2 Samuel 11.1-15; Psalm 14; Ephesians 3.14-21; John 6.1-21 What an interesting collection of readings! We began with the story of David’s adulterous affair with Bathsheba. When the affair could not be hidden due to pregnancy, David ultimately resorted to the murder of Uriah, sending the message which would result in actions leading to Uriah’s death with none other than Uriah. Then the psalmist tells us “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God‘. . . “all are corrupt and commit abominable acts; there is none who does any good . . . everyone has proved faithless; all alike have turned bad; there is none who does good; no, not one” (

Sermon: Opening the Doors of Our Hearts

Sermon.07.15.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort 2 Samuel 6.1-5, 12b-19; Psalm 24; Ephesians 1.3-14; Mark 6.14-29 Well, let’s face it. This set of scriptures is rather challenging. The gospel, the good news is there, but it does not immediately stand out! I suppose the reading from 2 Samuel might tell us a bit about worship and sacrifice, but if we danced and sacrificed every six paces as David did, we would be arrested for indecent exposure and locked away for a psychiatric evaluation. In Mark 6 we have the “charming” story of the beheading of John the Baptist. Not much good news for us there! Both passages involve dancing. I was raised in an environment in which dancing was considered

Sermon: Courage or Fear?

Sermon.07.08.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort 2 Samuel 5.1-5, 9-10; Psalm 48; 2 Corinthians 12.2-10; Mark 6.1-13 The Importance of Relationship in Faith When Jesus taught in his home-town synagogue, many were astounded. As Scott Hoezee (http://cep.calvinseminary.edu/sermon-starters/proper-9b-2/?type=the_lectionary_gospel) notes, the Greek ekplesso indicates a kind of amazement which carries with it a note of incredulity – how can this be? Where did Jesus get all this wisdom and power? How can he perform such healings with his hands? Did they believe with the scribes who came down from Jerusalem that Jesus’ power came from Beelzebul, the prince of the demons (Mark 3.22)? After all, isn

Sermon: Courage or Fear?

Sermon.07.01.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry V. Ort 2 Samuel 1.1, 17-27; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 8.7-15; Mark 5.21-43 “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications! . . . I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” (Psalm 130.1-2, 5; NRSV). As I read and studied today’s scriptures, I wondered if the woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years might have prayed this psalm. She saw numerous physicians, spent all she had, but to no avail. Her life was hard. Not only was she afflicted and poor, she was also unclean. The purity code of Leviticus 15 pertaining to the flow of blood made this abund

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