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Sermon: God Calls Us to Bear Fruit; Will We Respond?

Sermon.03.24.17 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Exodus 3.1-15; Psalm 63.1-8; 1 Corinthians 10.1-1; Luke 13.1-9 The Psalm of David appointed for today depicts a beautiful relationship with God. It begins with a statement of longing after God: “O God, you are my God: eagerly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a barren and dry land where there is no water” (Psalm 63.1). David proclaims God’s “loving-kindness is better than life itself” (Psalm 63.3); for this reason, David says he will praise and bless God as long as he lives. David exclaims, “My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips, when I remember

Sermon: Waiting, Trusting in the Lord

Sermon.03.17.19 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Genesis 15.1-2, 17-18; Psalm 27; Philippians 3.17 – 4.1; Luke 13.31-35 Lent is a time of preparation, of waiting and trusting in the Lord. The lessons appointed for today have a lot to say about waiting and trusting in the Lord. As I was thinking about this sermon, I must confess, I was fighting depression. The weather this year has sorely tried our patience – you know it’s a bad when native South Dakotans complain! Reason tells us we have the promise of spring, but don’t we wish it were here. In the meantime, we slog through snow, slush, rain, and mud! I am reminded of the fervent prayer, “Give me patience, Lord; and give it to

Sermon: The Value of Tempation

Sermon.03.10.19 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Deuteronomy 26.1-11; Psalm 91.1-2, 9-16; Romans 10.8b-13; Luke 4.1-13 Today’s lectionary readings provide us with an interesting set of scriptures. It takes a few readings to see how these scriptures are related. For a very quick overview, the gospel tells us of Jesus temptation’s in the wilderness, Deuteronomy depicts a celebratory ritual involving the first fruits of the Promised land after 40 years of testing in the wilderness, the appointed psalm cites one of the passages Satan employs in tempting Jesus, and Romans provides the assurance that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Let’s more closely examine th

Sermon: Glory as Epiphany

Sermon.03.03.19 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Exodus 34.29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3.12 – 4.2; Luke 9.28-36, 37-43a Today is the last Sunday in Epiphany; Shrove Tuesday and the beginning of Lent lie before us. In today’s collect we prayed, “O God, who before the passion of your only ­begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory. . .” Thus, we prayed an activity (“beholding by faith the light of his countenance”) may lead to two results: (1) the increased ability to bear our cross and (2) transformatio

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