Sermons (Page 33)

November 7, 2010: Hope That Lies Before Us

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

She put me on the spot. She holds up others behind her to ask, “Will I still be married to Bob in heaven?” Her husband had died recently – no children, no family near-by. She grieves, feels alone and misses him. What do I say? This is not the time or place. I know what Jesus says. She wouldn’t like how Jesus answers some Sadducees who ask him a resurrection question. They don’t even believe in a resurrection.

Evensong October 31, 2010: All Faithful Departed

Homily
The Rev. Dr. C. Steven Teague, Rector
Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

Today is the eve of All Saints’ Day, also called, All Hallows Eve – which morphs into Halloween. An infestation of witches, vampires, avatars and only God knows what else landed in our neighborhood last evening – demanding candy to keep us from being harmed. One creature looked like a combination of zombie and Satan. So, I asked, “And who are you?” A voice responded, “I am a candidate for the U.S. Senate.” I gave him all my candy, begged him to leave me alone, ran into the house, and locked the door. I was terrified.

October 31, 2010: Do You Really Want to Meet Jesus?

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

Many a child came home from Bible School singing a song about Zacchaeus. You may forget your cell phone number, but you’ll always remember, Zacchaeus was a wee little man; a wee little man was he.” This past week I watched on You Tube as someone’s dancing darling performed to the song. She shakes, looks up at an imaginary Zacchaeus, wags her finger, and demands he come down now, over and over. I’m sure her parents are thrilled. I think it could be awhile before Dancing with the Stars comes looking for her.

October 17, 2010: Persistence That Pays Off

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

The one who persists prevails. The squeaky wheel gets the grease – yeah, we know all that. We’ve seen it. Have you ever watched a dad push a grocery cart into a check-out line? Seated in the carrier is his little princess. As soon as she spots the candy rack to her right, and dad turns to unload the cart, little sweetie morphs into a devil in diapers – pointing and shrieking loudly. People turn and stare. If she just wails long and loud, she’s learned she can get a candy bar. “Here – now be quiet,” red-faced dad pleads, as he nods and smiles to a staring audience.

August 8, 2010: Keep at It

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

Initially Jesus’ words might bring some comfort – “Don’t have fear, little flock.” Not fear – you’re asleep if you don’t have fear. We have a rising national debt, unemployment, house foreclosures. Retirements and pensions circle the drain, not to mention terrorists, wars and oil spills. “Don’t fear. God’s good pleasure is to give us the kingdom.” Great – who turns down a free gift? But can we trust it even exists?

August 1, 2010: A Fearsome Generosity

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

Who let this guy in? Is he not following the lecture? Jesus has just warned followers: “Speak out for me and you could get hauled before rulers and authorities, not to give you an award.” Where is his follow-up statement coming from? He must have only heard, “Speak out.” He does, but it’s on a topic near to his heart and far from Jesus’ intention, “Tell my brother to cough up my portion of the family inheritance.” Jesus won’t step in. He’s not going to put the “fun” back into his dysfunctional family by taking sides.

July 4: Being Sent for Jesus’ Sake

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

An old friend, retired, formerly Dean of Student Affairs at an Alabama university, waits to board his flight home. He notices three or four people loudly arguing at a couple. The ruckus ends. He looks up to see them head his way. They stop in front of him. One asks Rick, “Are you a Christian?” If you are ever asked that, answer, “Yes,” and maybe they’ll leave you alone. Rick answers, “Yes,” but they don’t leave him alone. They invite him to pray with them – and since he’s a Christian, how can he refuse? They circle around Rick and bow heads. The leader must think God is hard of hearing, for he prays loud enough for the couple and half the airport to overhear: “Strike down those vile heathen pagans over there who reject Jesus. Make them an example, so others will accept Jesus.” The prayers end. Rick’s asked to add a word, “Lord, forgive us from hardness of heart, so that we can love others as you love us. May your love through us awaken love in others for you. Amen.” Rick looks up and asks, “Have you ever thought of loving people and letting them know God loves them, instead of condemning them? “Nope” – and they walk away.

June 28: Do You Really Want to Follow Jesus?

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

When did you become a Christian? How do you know you are one? Some people make a decision to join a church and be baptized. Does that make one a Christian? For others, someone decided for you, and had you baptized before you could decide for yourself. A few people have a dramatic experience, like Paul, when you get knocked off your feet and turned upside down. However you have come to believe you are a Christian, a common denominator is to realize God loves you fully as you are. But even knowing that won’t make someone a Christian – no more than standing in a garage makes you a car. Nor does joining a church make you a Christian, though I hope it helps. To be a Christian means you decide to follow Jesus.

June 20, 2010: Between Fear and Love

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

Farmers hold their breath as they peer over a cliff, praying that pigs do fly. They don’t. Their pigs go splash in the lake below. Jews double over laughing to hear this story. These Gentiles are not so amused. They’re scared, afraid of Jesus’ power, and they don’t know which side he’s on.

Jesus and the disciples land on the Gerasene shore, Gentile territory, where Jews who visit get told, “Your church is on the other side of the lake.” A man runs down the hill to intercept Jesus as he steps out of the boat – not just any man, a man who has no community, no friends. The poor fellow’s infested with demons. These people believe demons are real, Satan’s minions, sent to create as much chaos, disorder and evil as possible. The demoniac, his moniker, lives among the tombs in the town cemetery. Only the dead will hang out with him.

June 13, 2010: A Hardened Heart Condition

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

Maybe Jesus is fashionably late. Or maybe he has second thoughts about dining with a Pharisee – no, scratch that. Jesus likes a party. He’ll socialize with anyone.

Jesus must have arrived too late for a proper welcome from his host. But maybe the host is getting cold feet. He doesn’t want to appear too gracious and chummy with someone like Jesus. If word gets out that Jesus is his dinner guest, Simon could have his Pharisee license revoked. It is pretty odd, though that Simon would invite Jesus, and Jesus would accept his dinner invitation.