Sermons (Page 31)

June 17, 2012: More Than Meets the Eye

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Third Sunday after Pentecost

Now you see it – Now you don’t. What do you suppose is going on? – magic? illusion? mind tricks? Or is it what happened when you forgot the dog was watching the cheese tray as you left the room?

How about this one: “Now you can’t see it – One day you will.” What do you suppose that’s about?

June 10, 2012: Family Matters

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Second Sunday after Pentecost

In bygone days churches spoke of being family, “My church family is…” That was a day when families looked more like Ozzie and Harriet than Modern Family. Today we know families have secrets they’d rather others not know.  Families can be places of pain, shame, and abuse. Some families over-control and stifle, spouse or children. Some church families can be as dysfunctional and conflicted as biological families. Family in its best sense is a safe, loving, nurturing place where all sorts of people are welcomed. But then what family doesn’t have a crabby uncle or a nosey aunt they’d love to trade in?

April 29, 2012: A Real Shepherd for Real Sheep

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Fourth Sunday of Easter

What loss has left you with chronic heartache – you know the kind of heartache you feel when you wake up each morning? Separation and loss are devastatingly painful. Jesus says he’s a shepherd who’ll lose his life for his sheep, before he’ll lose them. Of course, he’s not just speaking of sheep. He’s speaking of us, who know life’s value, love’s depth, and the pain and cost of loss.

March 18, 2012: Lifted Up For the World

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Fourth Sunday in Lent

Why do you think people come to church these days? Years ago parents and kids attended regularly. Good church habits were formed, even if some feared church attendance and getting to heaven have a positive correlation. Today researchers say people come to church wanting a place and community to belong, where they know you and love you, and where you find a purpose by working to make this world a better place. People come and join here for many reasons: the church is beautiful; God speaks to them in this room; the music is uplifting; the sermon is reasonably short; and some wonder if an inner emptiness is a longing for God. I hope people find that God so loves them and the whole world, in our words, lives and worship, regardless why they come here.

March 11, 2012: Come On! Give Us a Break!

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
First Sunday after the Epiphany

Come on already – give us a break! It’s Lent. We slog around in regret and guilt, confessing sins known and unknown, and we still are going to die. If that’s not enough, add in the Ten Commandments to see how you’re doing. Paul says the law’s purpose is to remind us we sin, in case we forget.

January 22, 2012: And We Are to Follow, Too

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
First Sunday after the Epiphany

I wish I could say, “Follow me,” or “I need you to do something,” and people would drop their nets and do it. Jesus is able to get grown men to drop what they are doing to follow him. Of course, Jesus has the Son of God thing going for him, but the fishermen don’t yet know that – and they know idea what they sign on for, or where Jesus will lead them. Mark’s Jesus commands attention – few words – like President Calvin Coolidge, who once decided to attend church. He gets home and Mrs. Coolidge asks, “What was the sermon about?” “Sin.” “Well, what did the preacher say?” “He’s against it.” That’s like Mark’s Jesus. He invites; they follow – that’s all we need to know.

January 8: And the Spirit Came Down

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
First Sunday after the Epiphany

Have you ever walked into a room to realize, “I don’t belong here?” You hope others there would agree. As a hospice chaplain, I had to have certain vaccinations to work with patients. Our agency used a clinic that gave such vaccines, and did drug testing. One morning I walk into the waiting room for a shot. What am I doing here? I sit by a guy wearing a sleeveless T-shirt, arms like an art exhibit, and his bicep declaring his love for his mama. I felt out of place in my ironed polo shirt and khakis. Unlike others, I wore no jewelry in my lips, nose, or eyebrows. When I was called back, I wanted to yell out – “I am here for a vaccination, not the other.”

December 11, 2011: One Who’s Not the One

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Third Sunday of Advent

Thanks goodness Luke tells a story worthy of a Christmas pageant. Imagine a children’s pageant with no shepherds abiding in fields; no angels lighting up the skies – they’d have nothing to announce; no stable, sheep or cows, no lowly couple or newborn babe in a manger. That would be John’s Christmas pageant. Imagine his story blocked and staged: Eerie smoke swirls in a soft light. A deep voice booms: “In the beginning was the Word – and the Word was with God and was God. Through the Word comes life – a light for all people that overcomes darkness. And the Word became flesh and moved in with us.” Stage lights go up; a boy plaid bath robe is encircled by a cluster of similarly bathrobe costumed boys. Why it’s John the Baptist and minions turned interrogators, sent by Jerusalem’s clergy leaders.

December 4, 2011: Looking Back to Move Forward

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Second Sunday of Advent

Have you ever met a genuine “died in the wool” New Testament Christian? They can be scary. Years ago captive in an examination chair, my optometrist tells me he’s one – has no use for the Old Testament and no longer reads any of it. “I’m a New Testament Christian.”  I figure maybe now is not the best time to offer an opposing view. He was helping me learn to stick my finger in my eye to attach soft contact lenses, something I swore I’d never do. After I mastered it, forcing my eyelids to stay open as my loaded finger approached, I asked, “Don’t you think we need the Old Testament to understand Jesus? After all that was his Bible. If you don’t get the Old Testament, you won’t get Jesus.” In my friend’s world Jesus became a Christian at Easter, so why bother with the old stuff when God starts anew?

November 6, 2011: Foolish or Wise

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

You can tell we are getting toward the end of the Church Year. Sunday readings are become dark and ominous: warnings about dumping any false gods you still cling to; trumpets in the sky, the Lord descending and the die rising – that’ll get your attention. And then today’s gospel – Jesus sounds a bit edgy. His early parables are inviting and full of grace. We are being saved in spite of ourselves. Recently we learn when we accept God’s invitation, don’t mess up, like the guy who forgot his wedding tux, or these foolish bridesmaids who hadn’t counted on the groom being late. Just showing up is not enough. People who are in the kingdom can be tossed out or shut out.