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Sermon: Be One with Creation

Sermon.08.26.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort 1 Kings 8.1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43; Psalm 84; Ephesians 6.10-20; John 6.56-69 Jesus said, “For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them . . . whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven . . . the one who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6.55-58; NRSV). Last Sunday we noted various prohibitions against eating flesh and blood found throughout the Old Testament and we considered just how offensive the multitude would have found Jesus’ words. We noted how vultures and wild animals consume flesh and blood, how we tend

Sermon: Gnaw and Chew

Sermon.08.19.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort 1 Kings 2.10-12; 3.3-14; Psalm 111; Ephesians 5.15-20; John 6.51-58 Last week I noted that John 6 evokes some tough questions: First, where is the reference to a wrathful God who demands Jesus as a sacrificial atonement for our sins? Second, if we eat of Jesus flesh and drink of his blood, does that make us Christian cannibals? I am sure that many young people have raised the second question in confirmation classes, and I suspect most have been told they must have faith – to simply believe in what Jesus said rather than wrestle with the details. I recognize the need for faith, but I also recognize the need for tough-minded investigation of

Sermon: I am the Bread of Life

Sermon.08.05.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort 2 Samuel 11.26-12.13a; Psalm 51.1-13; Ephesians 4.1-16; John 6.24-35 This Sunday’s readings further develop various aspects of last Sunday’s readings so let’s quickly review. Last Sunday we read of David’s sin with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah. The psalmist stressed that “all are corrupt and commit abominable acts; . . . there is no one who does any good; no, not one” (Psalm 14.1-3). Although this is our fallen state, we do not have to remain as such. We can accept God’s love through faith. Paul prayed that the Church in Ephesus “may be strengthened in their inner being with power through God’s Spirit . . . that Christ may dwell in th

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