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Sermon: “Choosing Love, Life, and Happiness”

Sermon.02.16.20 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Deuteronomy 30.15 -20; Sirach 15.15-20; Psalm 119.1-8; 1 Corinthians 3.1-9; Matthew 5.21-37 Today’s lectionary readings have a lot to say about choosing love, life, and happiness and the shape that takes in community. In our reading from Deuteronomy, Moses and the Israelites are encamped on the eastern side of the Jordan River; they are poised to occupy the Promised Land. Moses has led these stubborn, stiff-necked people for forty years in the wilderness; he has tolerated their murmuring and grumbling. Because of his own failure to do as God commanded, God has told him he will die before entering the Promised Land. Thus, Moses ma

Sermon: “Let's Shake and Shine!”

Sermon.02.09.20 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Isaiah 58.1-12; Psalm 112.1-10; 1 Corinthians 2.1-16; Matthew 5.13-20 In this season of Epiphany, we have focused on Jesus as light coming into the world. Two weeks ago, we noted the personal and universal implications of Jesus’ birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection. Belief in Jesus Christ assures our personal salvation but there is so much more to consider. Christ’s Advent serves as an axial event in human history, for Christ’s life calls us to a new morality which will ultimately lead to a new social order grounded in the Kingdom of God. Last Sunday we considered Mary’s purification and Jesus’ presentation at the temple. T

Sermon: “Purification and Presentation”

Sermon.02.02.20 St. Paul’s Episcopal – Brookings Fr. Larry Ort Malachi 3.1-4; Psalm 84; Hebrews 2.14-18; Luke 2.22-40 “God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord.” These words from today’s collect serve to focus our understanding of today’s readings. All of today’s readings center around purification and the benefits thereof. The reading from Malachi tells us God is sending a messenger, an angel of the Lord. The Hebrew “Malachi” actually means “messenger, angel.” We read, “Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?” That question alone

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