Sermons (Page 33)

April 24, 2011: The Earth Does Quake

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

That first Easter sunrise service was one for the books. Attendance was low—two Mary’s and an angel. But there was enough ruckus to wake the dead. The women think they’ve come to visit Jesus’ grave – much as we would go to remember, grieve, and pray for our dead loved ones. They arrive. Terror seizes them – the ground trembles. Then the sky lights up, an angel descends and rolls away the huge stone sealing the tomb, then sits atop the rock. The first Easter Acclamation is not: “Alleluia! Christ is risen.” It’s : “Do not be afraid!” That’s a sure sign you probably need to be. The angel continues: “He’s not here; he’s been raised as he said. Come see where he lay. Now go quickly and tell his disciples he’s been raised from the dead, and will meet you in Galilee where you’ll see him. This is my message for you.” So in the spirit of that first Easter, are you here looking to find Jesus this day?

April 17, 2011: Prelude to The Passion According to Matthew

Sermon
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Passion/Palm Sunday

Through the years I have been tempted to forgo preaching a sermon after the reading of the Passion Story. Today, I yield to temptation. Hold the applause, please. After we participate in this reading, nothing else needs to be said.

March 6, 2010: Drama on the Mountain

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

Mountains can be majestic and mysterious places. Some people say they feel closer to God on a mountaintop. Jesus favored a mountain as a place to be alone, to pray, and to be close to God.

On mountain retreats, I’ve marveled in awe standing before glorious sunsets I fail to see down here in the valley – colors of red and rose streaking the blue sky as the quietly ends. I hear hawks, waterfalls, rustling leaves and I feel like I’m sitting atop the world. I’m awed when I see snowy peaks in the Rockies against a deep blue background, or I hike a trail that opens onto a ridge. I think the ancients are right. We are closer to God on a mountaintop. You feel as if you have been lifted into a larger world – one we miss down here when our focus is elsewhere.

February 6, 2010: Fulfilling the Law, Not Abolishing It

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

Another priest and I placed our coffee orders. The friendly barista asked, “Are you good today?” I jumped in, “I’m okay. I try. I’m not really good. Only one is – to quote someone else.” My friend smiled. I was referring to Jesus, of course. Someone once called him good, and he didn’t say, “Thanks for noticing.” I think Jesus is pretty darn good. But he says only one is good – and it’s not him or us. It’s his Father.

January 31, 2010: Fishing With Jesus

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

What are we to do with Jesus’ beatitudes? The church has never been certain. Do we obey them literally and we become the mourners, poor in spirit, and persecuted so we can be blessed? Are we to calm and assure the lowly God eventually will bless them? Are the Beatitudes for the spiritually elite, monastics and saints, but not for the rest of us? Is this how God reverses fortunes for the down and out when his reign finally comes? Maybe we really should be friendlier with them. We are confused about what to do with the Beatitudes, aren’t we? And we have enough trouble recruiting for Jesus these days. If we look confused, we won’t be helping the cause.

January 23, 2010: Fishing With Jesus

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

Jesus returns from the wilderness of temptation. John’s in jail now, so his traveling revival’s shut down. Today Jesus goes fishing. He nets two ordinary people, fishermen in fact. “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” That must have been a great line. Simon and Andrew immediately drop their nets and livelihood to follow. Jesus spots two more brothers, James and John, mending nets in a boat with their dad. Jesus calls them – and suddenly the old man sits alone in his boat wondering what just happened. Three becomes five. They follow and watch as Jesus preaches and teaches the good news of God, healing people and curing diseases – signs something new is a foot.

January 16, 2010: Finding Jesus

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

My first Church History professor began each class with an excerpt from a book, Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand, true stories of frontier religion. Very few people on the frontier knew much about the Biblical story, including the players, places and even Jesus. One day while wandering the backwoods, a preacher thought he heard a fellow Methodist singing a hymn, only to discover as he came closer the man was singing a profane song. As the custom of frontier ministers, Rev. Freeborn Garrettson asked him about his religious convictions. “Do you know Jesus Christ?” “Sir, I do not know where the gentleman lives.” Thinking the fellow had misunderstood, the reverend tries again. “Sir,” the man innocently replied, “I do not know him. He must not live in these parts.”

January 2, 2010: You are a Star

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

Well before the time Jesus is born, in a land way to the east of the Jews, a group called magi, wise men, gather to pray, read ancient writings, and scan the night skies. Their tribe, for generations, believed the Lord of Majesty would send a star to announce a child-king’s birth. That king will bring The Lord’s salvation for all people.

One night the magi notice a bright object. The light grows more intense and comes closer. Without speaking a word they each know. The time has come. The Lord is giving the sign – a star that comes for them. So they gather gifts for the child others long ago set aside, pack, say goodbyes, and depart to wherever the star leads them.

December 19, 2010: Annunciation – God is With Us

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

Close your eyes. I warn you, don’t fall asleep! Imagine you’re walking into the church for the children’s Christmas Pageant. You hear this year’s pageant will be different. “How dare they change anything,” you think, “Jesus just better be born in King James English tonight.” After the opening carol, a teenager comes out and announces: “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.” No – that’s wrong. It begins: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Everybody knows that.

November 14, 2010: Life in an Interval

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

A committee member at our final interview with a candidate for Holy Orders asks, “Who is Jesus for you?” The response went something like: “Jesus is my friend. I talk with him often. He listens, gives me peace and comforts me. Jesus is my helper.” Well, that’s sweet. So I jumped in and asked, “Does Jesus ever annoy you? Does he ever get under your skin, disturb or bother you at all?” The person looked a little stunned and stumbled over an answer: “Well, yeah, I guess he could be that way.” “Good, I was afraid I ticked Jesus off. Sometimes he just annoys the dickens out of me.”