Get up and eat for the journey

Sermon 08 August 2021 (Proper 14)

Get up and eat for the journey by Fr. Dana

Simple Summary:  Elijah: strong in the ministry of God, then overcome by attacks from the enemy and the cares of the world. Peter: granted revelation of Jesus as the Christ, then overcome by the desire for immediate victory in this life. Jesus “truth in advertising”: this life will be difficult; you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me; and oh, by the way, life will not be fair.
The end is good, even awesome, but the journey is long and too much for you in your own strength. Get up and eat: not just for today, but for the journey to your destiny in Christ.

Lectionary:  1 Kings 19:1-8; Psalm 34:1-10; Ephesians 4:25-32; John 6:41-51

Referenced Scriptures: 1 Kings 18:40; Mark 8:27-38; Mark 9:1; Isaiah 53:3-10

Recording – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq1FPYw8ib33y8LqU?e=e6Hxzs

Notes – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/b/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq1DstqXEwDOzhw0W?e=qk2wCX

These were written as a stern warning for us

Sermon 01 August 2021 (Proper 13)

These were written as a stern warning for us by Fr. Dana

Simple Summary:  God’s plan was to give them rich abundance in the Promised Land, but His primary concern was not their bodies – their health, their wealth, or their security.  He longed to provide for their eternal health – their souls. But why do we read the Old Testament now that we are under the New Covenant?  Because these happenings were recorded so that we could read and learn from them, that we would not repeat the mistakes they made. Are we learning … and obeying?

Lectionary:  Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15; Psalm 78:14-25; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6; John 6:24-35

Referenced Scriptures: Exodus 7-10; Matthew 22:14; 1 Corinthians 10:7-14; Matthew 24:12

Recording – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq08ZaJL_Rngdm2qQ?e=1GD3eS

Notes – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/b/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq010pVr_JVUWzMkx?e=UbhlpJ

Testimony during Mass:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq04PrJknzeumXLo4?e=2gtJ1i

God will supply abundantly to complete His calling

Sermon 25 July 2021 (Proper 12)

God will supply abundantly to complete His calling by Fr. Dana

Simple Summary:  God supplies more than is needed for us to complete the work He calls us to do, often by multiplying what we offer Him. It was true for Elisha, it was true for Jesus, and it will be true for each of us if we seek His will, His glory, the good of His Body the Church, and the accomplishment of His purposes rather than our own.

Lectionary:  2 Kings 4:42-44; Psalm 145:10-20; Ephesians 3:20-4:6; John 6:1-12

Referenced Scriptures: Matthew 7:23; 2 Kings 4:38-41; John 6:13-15; John 6:53-71; Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Recording – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq0pyeC5XmoDxg2Or?e=N8U3La

Notes – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/b/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq0hELVnqAhtvZA8O?e=vubfdw

Depart from us, Jesus!

A portion of yesterday’s Gospel reading from the daily lectionary, Mark 5:13-17:

Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea. So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.

We often hear teachings on the miraculous deliverance of the demoniac – as well we should. But what about the curious behavior of the residents of that country? This man who had been a terror, a threat, and an embarrassment to them, and especially to anyone visiting the tombs; this man who had been demonized for so long; this man who could not even be restrained, much less cured … this man was completely healed and sitting calmly, fully clothed, and in his right mind. Think of the potential ministry for good that Jesus could have done in the region! Think of all the additional men, women, and children who could have been delivered from sickness, disease, malformity, and lesser demonization! Think of the tremendous potential!

IT NEVER HAPPENED. Why not? “And they were afraid.” A herd of swine had been lost. Demons had been loosed. The whole natural order of life had been turned on its head.

They were afraid. What about the other demons in the area? What if they were angry at what happened? What if they were loosed to find other hosts? How much damage to possessions and livelihoods might follow?

No, this was too risky. This man Jesus was too dangerous. Never mind the good that could be done – instead fear the changes to lives and lifestyles that might be required! No, we cannot have this. We are too comfortable in the way things have been. We want to get back to normal, so Jesus you must leave our region. Go do your miraculous healings somewhere else and don’t bother us.

Have men and women really changed at all since Jesus’ time? Sadly … perhaps not.

The True Shepherd and true sheep

Sermon 18 July 2021 (Proper 11)

The True Shepherd and true sheep by Fr. Dana

Simple Summary:  Shepherds have a responsibility, and they will be held accountable for their husbandry of the sheep. Today’s Gospel reveals the heart of Jesus for His sheep – not just the crowds of people, but the disciples as well. Psalm 23 describes the relationship of this true Shepherd to His sheep, but it’s easy to misinterpret if we don’t know what sheep are like and don’t know what it means to be a shepherd. (Recommended resource: Phillip Keller, A shepherd looks at Psalm 23).

So what is God doing in this church?

Lectionary:  Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 23:1-6; Ephesians 2:13-22; Mark 6:30-34

Referenced Scriptures: John 16:33; Revelation 3:16-21; Luke 14:16-24

Recording – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq0fMb-6cGJTriOPK?e=H9DVRr

Notes – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/b/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq0bdyu4d4zm1RZSc?e=rxmNwD

To whom much is given, from him much will be required

Today’s New Testament reading from the daily lectionary, Acts 12:1-17:

Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

Remember after the Resurrection, when Jesus revealed Peter’s fate to him? Peter replied regarding John, “But Lord, what about this man?” (John 21:21). Peter was concerned that his own life would be taken from him forcibly, but John’s might not.

Do you see the irony in this? Peter asked about John – who lived – but ignored John’s brother James, who was killed with the sword long before Peter. Why was James put to death, and Peter rescued from prison? And why was John saved to die a natural death, and Peter later suffered martyrdom?

Jesus’ response on the beach shows the answer: “If I will that he … what is that to you?“(John 21:22). If God desires someone else’s story to end in a different manner than yours, or their life to be easier/harder, longer/shorter, less/more painful … why should that concern you?

We are all of equal value in God’s eyes, but that does not mean our experiences will be identical. You are not called to live my life, nor am I called to live yours. What we both know is this: “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48).

If you wish to receive the “much more” from God, then you must also accept the greater burden and responsibility.

What is God doing in this church?

Sermon 11 July 2021 (Proper 10)

What is God doing in this church? by Fr. Dana

Simple Summary:  Our Old Testament reading speaks of Jesus: He is the plumb-line against which all faithfulness to God is measured, the rejected stone who became the chief cornerstone, the stone cut without hands that destroys the kingdoms of the earth and becomes a mountain filling the whole earth. We were out of alignment, dead in our trespasses and sins, but He has redeemed us: not to be a fellowship of spectators, but – as we saw last week in the valley of dry bones – an army faithful to Him.

So what is God doing in this church?

Lectionary:  Amos 7:7-15; Psalm 85:1-13; Ephesians 1:7-14; Mark 6:7-13

Referenced Scriptures: Luke 20:15-18; Daniel 2:32-35; Matthew 11:29-30; Psalm 95:6-11; Matthew 4:1-11; Psalm 91:11-12; 1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 7:13-15; Acts 20:27-31; Hebrews 10:24-25; Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 25:2-7; Leviticus 25:19-22; Matthew 6:33; Isaiah 55:10-11; Matthew 13:1-23

Recording – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq0OC4hsI76LLSFf1?e=7ZimUo

Notes – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/b/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq0K2DYWXpYCPbK9e?e=jUyxTR

There is no return to normal

Sermon 04 July 2021 (Proper 9)

There is no return to normal by Fr. Dana

Simple Summary:  In Ezekiel’s day:
– Israel was in exile in Babylon
– False prophets proclaimed they would soon return
– God said they would not, and sent Ezekiel to proclaim it
– When hope in man was dead, God gave Ezekiel a new word: dry bones

In our day:
– The Church is under siege by governments, media, and culture
– False prophets proclaim we will soon return to “normal”
– What is God saying?

Lectionary:  Ezekiel 2:1-7; Psalm 48; 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-6

Referenced Scriptures: Ezekiel 1:10; Ezekiel 3:4-11; Ezekiel 37:1-14; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Ephesians 5:26; Matthew 28:19-20

Recording – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq0HYAkxZUzrNY0eW?e=da7UMm

Audio note: a person came into Mass off the street, and at 3:10 in the original recording asked a question. His question quickly became a lecture, so after working with him a few minutes I eventually had to ask him to leave. I have omitted that 7-minute portion from the recording, so there is a slightly curious transition and some references later in the recording to what happened during the missing minutes.

Notes – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/b/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRq0Ct6T_phnGFT8sF?e=G0xcCG

Testimonies during Mass:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRqz4nD0sd_D4CZ8us?e=Qasddq

Arise army of God!

Sermon 27 June 2021 (ICCEC Foundation Day)

Arise army of God! by Fr. Dana

Simple Summary:  God is love. Love is giving. Giving is sacrifice. Sacrifice produces good. This is the Gospel. God is restoring His army, breathing life into us through His Holy Spirit. Foundation Day is about equipping the Army of God … about setting up base camps in enemy-occupied territory to reach into neighborhoods and set captives free!

Lectionary:  Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 30; 1 Corinthians 12:1-13, 27-31; Mark 16:15-20

Referenced Scriptures: 1 John 4:8; John 3:16; John 10:15; Mark 8:31; John 14:3; Romans 8:29; John 15:13; 1 John 3:16; 1 Peter 4:13; Romans 12:5; Colossians 2:19; Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Luke 19:10; Revelation 5:9; Romans 6:6; 2 Timothy 2:4; Hebrews 10:5-7

Recording – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRqzrqgHX2Oe5C52et?e=FnLIZd

Notes – Sermon:  https://1drv.ms/b/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRqzmFQ3Wu9fuBkggz?e=4GGhb1

This is your life

Sermon 20 June 2021 (Proper 07)

This is your life by Fr. Dana

Simple Summary:  This is your life: God redeemed you from slavery to sin; in this new life you will have storms; when you call on Jesus He will be with you through the storm and bring it to a good resolution – as He defines good, not as you or I or the world defines it. He delivered you from slavery to sin that you might live for Him (and through Him for the good of others), not to become a slave of the world’s system, desires, and priorities.

Lectionary:  Job 38:1-11; Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Mark 4:35-41

Referenced Scriptures: Acts 4:1-31; Luke 21:10-19; 1 Samuel 4:1-11; Matthew 13:1-23; Matthew 25:14-30

Recording – Sermon:  

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRqzZxZJlaWRg7Wupg?e=gCvmEv

Notes – Sermon:  

https://1drv.ms/b/s!AvYHlhfoSlmRqzdVrgqIIWR8kaoe?e=aWYU2Q