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Sermon: What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

Sermon.10.28.18 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Job 42.1-6, 10-17; Psalm 34.1-8, (19-220; Hebrews 7.23-28; Mark 10. 46-52 Over the past few weeks, we have been working our way through some key passages of Mark. Following the feeding of the multitude in chapter 8, Jesus and the disciples traveled by boat to Dalmanutha where they encountered a group of Pharisees looking for a sign – they were testing Jesus. Mark tells us Jesus “sighed deeply in his spirit and said, ‘Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation’” (Mark 8.12; NRSV). Jesus and the disciples again get into the boat and cross to the other side. En route, Jesus ca

Sermon: Eternal Salvation

Sermon.10.21.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Job 38.1-7,34-41; Psalm 104.1-9, 25, 37b; Hebrews 5.1-10; Mark 10.35-45 In last week’s sermon we considered the story of the man who ran up to Jesus, knelt before him, and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. As he had kept the commandments pertaining to relationships with others, Jesus told him to go, sell his possessions, and give the money to the poor. He was shocked and went away grieving. His possessions were the one thing standing in the way of his possessing a right relationship with God, for his possessions were his idol. His possessions occupied God’s rightful place. We noted Jesus’ comments on the difficulty, the near i

Sermon: Discipleship and Stewardship

Sermon.10.14.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Job 23.1-9, 16-17; Psalm 22.1-15; Hebrews 4.12-16; Mark 10.17-31 Discipleship and Stewardship In last week’s lesson from Mark we noted Jesus’ comments on divorce and his indignity that the disciples were not allowing parents to bring their children to be blessed. We noted, as such, that Jesus was speaking to the needs of those marginalized in society – especially women and children. This week we consider a man who runs up to Jesus, kneels before him, and asks, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life” (Mark 10.17; NRSV)? Two things stand out immediately: First, the man came running up to Jesus – this was uncharacteristically

Sermon: All God's Creatures

Sermon.10.07.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Job 1.1; 2.1-10; Psalm 26; Hebrews 1.1-4; 2.5-12; Mark 10.2-16 October 4th holds significance for me: it was my mother’s birthday and it is the Feast of St. Francis. It is fitting that we should consider the Canticle of Brother Sun which was originally known as the Canticle of the Creatures. Most of the canticle is said to have been written in 1224 CE: Most High, all powerful, good Lord, Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor, and all blessing. To You alone, Most High, do they belong, and no man is worthy to mention Your name. Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, w

Sermon: The Rite of Reconciliation of a Penitent (Confession)

Sermon.09.30.18 St. Paul’s – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Esther 7.1-6, 9-10; 9.20-22; Psalm 124; James 5.13-20; Mark 9.38-50 The Rite of Reconciliation of a Penitent (Confession) When the Epistle of James was written, people believed sickness was a consequence of having sinned. James tells us if any are sick, they should call for the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil. The prayer of faith will save the sick, the Lord will raise them up, and those who have committed sins will be forgiven. We now realize that many sicknesses are not healed, but I fully believe there is a deeper spiritual healing that takes place from such moments. I have witnessed the comfort which com

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