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Sermon: Humility and the Wisdom from Above

Sermon.09.23.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Proverbs 31.10-31; Psalm 1; James 3.13 – 4.3, 7-8a; Mark 9.30-37 Today’s Collect concisely summarizes the content of the lectionary readings: “Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” My remarks today will focus primarily on the lections from James and Mark, with a brief visit with Proverbs and Psalms. Proverbs 31 is the final chapter, the closing words, of the book. Prove

Sermon: Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me

Sermon.09.16.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Proverbs 1.20-33; Psalm 19; James 3.1-12; Mark 8.27-38 Today’s reading from the gospel of Mark changes our focus. Up to this point, Mark has reported on numerous aspects of Jesus ministry – the miraculous feeding of the 5000, the casting out of demons, the healing of the lame, the deaf, and the mute. Jesus and his disciples are now traveling toward he villages of Caesarea Philippi. Following the death of Herod the Great shortly after Jesus’ birth, the Romans divided his kingdom among his three sons (Archelaus, Herod Antipas, and Philip II) and his daughter (Salome I)( Philip II built his capi

Sermon: “Ephphatha!” “Be Opened!”

Sermon.09.09.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Proverbs 22.1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Psalm 125; James 2.1-17; Mark 7.24-37 “Ephphatha!” “Be Opened!” Last Sunday we focused on the question: How does one sing a noble song? This question was grounded in the psalmist’s confession, “My heart is stirring with a noble song” (Psalm 45.1; NRSV). We noted James’ admonition to be “doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (James 1.22; NRSV). As we become doers of the word, our hearts are blessed – we are stirred with a noble song. Today’s lectionary readings give us further clues to how we might come to sing a noble song. First, in our reading from Proverbs, we are told “A good na

Sermon: Sing a Noble Song

Sermon.09.02.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Song of Solomon 2.8-13; Psalm 45.1-2, 7-10; James 1.17-27; Mark 7.1-8, 14-15, 21-23 How Does One Sing A Noble Song? The psalmist wrote: “My heart is stirring with a noble song” (Psalm 45.1; NRSV). In many respects, one’s life is a story or a song which comes from the heart. Mehmet Murat ildan, the Turkish author, said: “To live is to write a story. If you are a strong person, your life story will mostly be written by you; if you are a weak person, mostly others will write your life story” (! How does one make one’s life a noble story; how does one sing a noble song? For many years I taught ad






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