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Sermon: Christ the King

Sermon.11.25.18 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort 2 Samuel 23.1-7; Psalm 132.1-19; Revelation 1.4b-8; John 18.33-37 Today, Christ the King Sunday, we end another ecclesiastical year. Some who are strongly opposed to the masculine and patriarchal images associated with “king” have proposed we change the name to Christ the Messiah Sunday. Before we do so, we may wish to note such concerns reflect a worldly image of kingship – one associated with absolute power and authority, with knights, castles, heraldry, and ladies in waiting. Such kingship typically embraces the worldly idols of wealth, power, and prestige. Yet, there have been a few exceptions. A careful reading of the Old Te

Sermon: Beware!

Sermon.11.18.18 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort 1 Samuel 1.4-20; 1 Samuel 2.1-10; Hebrews 10.11-25; Mark 13.1-8 Last Sunday we noted how Jesus warned the disciples and the crowds to beware of the scribes who seek honor – they like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted with respect in the market place, to sit in the best seats of the Temple and to occupy the places of honor at banquets while simultaneously devouring widows’ houses and saying long prayers for the sake of appearance. Immediately following Jesus’ reference to devouring widows’ homes, Mark tells how Jesus noted the poor widow who gave everything she owned to the Temple treasury thereby making her situation eve

Sermon: Giving Back to God

Sermon.11.11.18 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Ruth 3.1-5; 4.13-17; Psalm 127; Hebrews 9.24-28; Mark 12.38-44 Last week we noted how the chief priests, scribes, and elders tried to entrap Jesus with no success, so they sent some Pharisees and Herodians. They also failed. Then a scribe, an expert in the law, who had overheard some of these conversations asked Jesus, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus directly answered his question: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love y

Sermon: With All One's Mind

Sermon.11.04.18 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Ruth 1.1-18; Psalm 146; Hebrews 9.11-14; Mark 12.28-34 Over the past few weeks we have traced the journey of Jesus and his disciples as they made their way to Jerusalem. Today’s reading is set within the context of considerable interaction in and near the temple. The chief priests, scribes and elders have challenged Jesus by asking, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority . . .” (Mark 11.28; NRSV)? Jesus, knowing their intent to trap him, told them he would respond to their question if they would first answer his question – “Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” T

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