Sermons (Page 32)

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.

October 23, 2011: All You Need is Love

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

High drama and a cheering crowd follow Jesus on his final entrance into Jerusalem. On his way home, he stops by the Temple, causing such a scene he gets the undivided attention of the religion police and makes front page of the afternoon Jerusalem Times. When he returns the next day, authorities are waiting for him, armed with tricky questions. To pick up on a popular sport, chief priests and elders throw the first pitch. He knocks their trap into the bleachers – and the crowd goes wild.  Next some junior Pharisees and Herodians are called in. Same result. Sadducees now take the mound. Jesus blasts their fastball out of the Temple. Finally the Pharisees arrive – with a lawyer to toss Jesus one more test.

October 16, 2011: Death and Taxes

teaching your kids to read/steveteague1-150×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ />Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

In this world we can be assured of two things – death and taxes. And when death comes, let’s pray taxes won’t follow us into eternity. If when you arrive in the next world, and get handed a tax bill – you may not have arrived where you hope you’d be. In today’s gospel two groups come to ask Jesus a tax question. For Herodians and Pharisees to stand side-by-side is like President Obama and the tea party agreeing on anything. But that day it happened. And the issue wasn’t taxes. The issue is finding a way to get rid of Jesus.

October 9, 2011: Truth Bring Consequences

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

Call me socially insecure, but I would hate to show up wearing shorts, a Lady Gaga t-shirt and flip flops when everyone else is wearing a suit and tie, or cocktail dress. I do notice these things – what others are wearing. So I wonder what’s up with the fellow at the wedding feast. Doesn’t he notice he’s out of place? I wish Jesus hadn’t said some of the things he did. All the killing, city burning, and throwing a poor shmuck into outer darkness because someone isn’t dressed right doesn’t exactly fit my image of God.

September 25, 2011: Truth Bring Consequences

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

“It’s been a busy week,” not in Lake Wobegon, as Garrison Keillor would say, but in Jerusalem. Let’s step back and set the stage a bit. On Sunday Jesus rides into town on a donkey. The crowds hail him Messiah and that sets the clergy on edge. Later he has an episode in the Temple, upturns cash registers, cleans house and gets in big trouble. Chief priests and elders show up for his lecture today, not to listen and learn, but to question his “religious cred.” And they should. It’s their business. They are the guardians of faith. He’s an unauthorized street preacher, stepping onto their turf with an unauthorized version of God. Tricky – whose truth will they trust?