Sermons (Page 34)

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.

November 22: The Reign of Christ

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

Today we need to hunker down, draw the curtains, bolt the doors, and pull up a pew. We must talk quietly among ourselves. Don’t let this get out, but today the church celebrates the Reign of Christ in all creation. If people out there catch wind we’re in here talking like this, they’ll wonder if we have stopped taking our medications, or maybe need to start. “Your Christ reigns? Yeah, right. So where is this reign? Your talk is crazy. Have you checked the world lately? Doesn’t look like he’s done such a hot job.”

November 15: God in the End

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

Certain Christians believe God has called them to a specialized ministry. That ministry is to watch diligently for signs that the end of time is coming soon. With that, Jesus comes back, and they are certain that this time he’s going to be mad. So repent while there’s still time. They also believe God calls them to wealth – off the books and fictional stories they write, and the DVD’s they make. They prey on those who really believe them and the sky is falling – those who fear the dark. Mark 13, from which we read today, is on their top ten list to support their theories.

October 25: A God Who Restores

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

I bring you good news today. I have discovered the key to wealth and fortune, and the great news – I am willing to share the key with you. Here it is: Grovel before God, and then pray for your friends. Look what happens for Job. Life and friends have beaten him down. He’s frustrated, mad, and demands God come and explain why. God comes, but instead of answers, God bombards him with questions Job can’t answer. Overwhelmed by God’s power and majesty, Job rakes up a pile of dust and ashes, dives into them and grovels. I guess God’s impressed. 

October 18, 2009: And Now, A Word From the Lord

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

Do we really understand what we are doing when we gather here and bat words back and forth: “The Lord be with you,” I say. And you respond: “And also with you.” Do we think about what we ask – who it is we invite to come among us when we’re in here – as if the Almighty awaits our invitation?

We chatter about God’s ways as if we have some great wisdom and experience. Speeches end in: “God bless America;” and we all feel warm and safe wrapped in God. I wonder if we are doing that God would want to bless – and what would God want us to change? Ever hear prayers for God to grant a football team a win? I’ve tried it – and my team still loses. Might God have bigger concerns? We pray for heaven’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Do you really want that? What would be different for us? Would we share more so others could enjoy more heaven here? We pray to a God who sends a Savior telling us to forgive enemies. Is that really practical? We could get shot and overrun while we take time to forgive enemies.