Sermons (Page 33)

May 16, 2010: Gone, But Not Away

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Seventh Sunday after Easter

You may have skipped the celebration of the Ascension this past Thursday. A lot of people did. I can understand. The story asks us to suspend our disbelief. It says that Jesus literally lifts off, ascending into the clouds leaving his disciples, well-wishers and the whole world in his wake.

Ascension is pretty difficult to wrap our minds around. Other feasts are more tangible and earthly grounded. At Christmas we have a manger, angels, shepherds, and a baby. An empty tomb, bunnies, chocolate crosses and lilies help us think Easter. Did anyone send you an Ascension card this year? Did you send any Ascension cards? Did you decorate your house for Ascension? Neither the malls nor Hallmark seem aware of Ascension. Maybe releasing a helium balloon as we sing the Fifth Dimension’s Up, Up, and Away could catch on.

May 9, 2010: Rooming with Jesus

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Sixth Sunday after Easter

Some people will go to church today, because they like the people there. They feel connected. They belong. They won’t say so, but they want to know if Jesus is real and they belong to him. Other people will visit a church today as if they are test driving a new car – checking out the people, choir, sermon and building. They’re shopping. Yet deep down, they also want to know if this is a community that believes Jesus is real, and they too belong to him. Some who go to church today know Jesus intellectually – as an ancient religious figure, but that’s about it. They long for more, too. And some won’t go to church this day. Early on, they were told what to believe. So, they belonged. As they grew up, they had questions about faith, and began to ask them at church. The answer they were given – “Just believe what we tell you.” They didn’t – they couldn’t anymore. So they no longer belonged, and really didn’t care anymore. They have learned that absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder.

April 25, 2010: Jesus Makes Us All – The In Crowd

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

You’d think the Temple Hospitality Committee would roll out the red carpet for Jesus. He arrives for the Festival of Dedication, to be met at the door by an interrogation committee asking him pointed, hostile questions, not giving him a welcome. A joyous, thankful festival turns into an inquisition. Sometimes even God’s chosen act suspicious and mean-spirited. Does that surprise us?

March 21, 2010: A Time For Wasteful Extravagance

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Lent 5

Now why would Mary go and pour a year’s worth of wages on Jesus’ feet? That’s what a pound of nard would have cost of her. Judas does have a point. She could have sold it and funded the soup kitchen, stocked shelves at the food pantry, and clothed the poor in Jesus’ honor. After all, Jesus did say what we do for the least – we’re doing to him. Mary must have missed the lesson that day.

March 7, 2010: There’s Got to be a Reason Somewhere

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

A dear, long-time friend visited me the other week. He usually comes to Milwaukee in warmer seasons. This year he wanted to experience a Wisconsin winter. You see, he lives in the south – Richmond, Virginia, where snow rarely falls – until this year: three massive snowstorms of over 18 inches each time. I should have told him to save his money and stay there. Instead I said, “Tim, you people must not be living right. I don’t know what you’ve done. It’s Lent. If I were you I’d repent.”

February 28, 2010: Walks on Water – Not Eggshells

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

You’ve heard the old line: “Do you wake up grumpy in the mornings?” “No, I let him sleep.” Not so funny, if it’s true. Have you ever walked on eggshells trying to keep peace – not upset the applecart, please everybody? Wears you out, doesn’t it?

Some eggshell walking Pharisees come to warn Jesus, “Get away from here. Herod wants to kill you.” Actually, they probably are more concerned to protect their turf than Jesus’ well being. Jesus is proclaiming a new kingdom. That kingdom is coming right under Herod’s nose. A paranoid, fear-filled Herod would not be good for these Pharisees who need to appease him – keep peace at any cost. Herod has the power to take away freedom to practice their faith. They truly are in a spot. Can you hear all that crunching? That’s eggshells.

February 21, 2010: Having a Devil of a Time

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

Someone periodically will ask me to state my views of the devil. Usually the tone of voice causes my alarms to go off – and I realize my views are only a stage for their lecture. “Well, actually, I don’t think much about the devil.” This is when they enlighten and warn me, but probably figures they got to me too late. My explanation is woefully deficient: “I need to work on my relationship with God first. Once I perfect that, I’ll move on to the devil – like you have.” As a seminary professor once said, God created human beings, gave us free will, and watched what we do with our free will, and decided He need to create the devil. We were doing just fine on our own.

January 10: Baptized In Christ: With Us and In Us

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

What does your baptism mean to you? Some can’t remember theirs. You were too young. Mamma carried you to the font kicking and screaming, whether you wanted to be there or not. You had no choice, only a certificate and stories told you by those present about that day to let you know you are baptized. Later you may have confirmed that you accept the promises and commitments made on your behalf. Others remember their baptism well. You waded into a water tank, a river, or walked to a font. You confirmed your faith and trust in God, and made your own promises and commitments.

January 3: External Light

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

In the annual children’s Christmas Pageant, if I wasn’t picked for Joseph’s part, being a king was next best – a task for the older guys. The pageant director stuck cotton balls on the backside of the younger kids – and wearing dumb fluffy caps with ears, they became the sheep. Those who weren’t sheep were zipped into brown furry pajamas with a long tail attached – the donkeys.

December 13: A Magnet in the Wilderness

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

Why would you put up with someone who verbally berates and threatens you – and even follow after them? Most people either fight back, or run away as fast as they can. What kind of person would put up with such abuse – from anyone? Very few I know. Luke says it worked well for John the Baptist. He was like a magnet, attracting crowds into the wilderness with his warnings and threats.