Authority: the conflict of the ages

Sermon 11 June 2017  (Trinity)

Authority: the conflict of the ages by Fr. Dana

  • Paul previously said, “Judge yourself, and you will not be judged”
  • Jesus gave His disciples authority to make disciples and pass that authority on
  • He also promised to be with each and every one of those disciples, even to the end of the age
  • Paul tells us to examine ourselves, whether we are in the faith
  • If we are, Christ is in us and we have the authority and responsibility to make disciples

Lectionary:  Genesis 1:26-2:4; Psalm 8:1-9; 2 Corinthians 13:5-14; Matthew 28:16-20

Referenced Scriptures:  1 Corinthians 11:27-32; 2 Corinthians 13:1-4


Who is essential?

Sermon 04 June 2017  (Pentecost)

Who is essential? by Fr. Dana

  • Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection were necessary
  • The preaching of repentance and remission of sins in His Name is necessary
  • The Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for this mission

Lectionary:  Acts 2:1-7, 12-21; Psalm 104:24-35; 1 Corinthians 12:3-13; John 7:37-39

Referenced Scriptures:  Luke 24:32-49; John 14:15-18; John 14:25-28


God’s map and GPS

Sermon 28 May 2017  (Easter 7)

God’s map and GPS by Fr. Dana

  • The call is not the vision
  • The call is our origin; the vision is our destination
  • The Bible is God’s map, and the Holy Spirit His GPS
  • What is God’s vision for St. Stephen’s, our destiny?

Lectionary:  Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:4-11,18-20; 1 Peter 4:12-16; John 17:1-11  (sermon not from lectionary)

Referenced Scriptures:  Habakkuk 2:2; John 16:13; Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:5


Write the vision that they may run

Sermon 21 May 2017  (Easter 6)

Write the vision that they may run by Fr. Dana

  • All things tend toward decay
  • If you’re not growing/maturing, you’re in the process of dying
  • If you keep doin’ what you been doin’, you’ll keep gettin’ what you been gettin’
  • We aren’t just called; we are anointed to do what Jesus was anointed to do
  • Write the vision and make it plain, that they may run who read it

Lectionary:  Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:1-8; 1 Peter 3:18-22; John 14:15-21  (sermon not from lectionary)

Referenced Scriptures:  Matthew 28:19-20a; Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-21; Luke 6:40; Habakkuk 2:2


Examine your conscience

Sermon 14 May 2017  (Easter 5)

Examine your conscience by Fr. Dana

  • Jesus is preparing a room for us in His Father’s house
  • Jesus is the Way: He said, “if you love Me you will obey me”
  • We fall short, we sin, but there is forgiveness for sins
  • If we confess our sins, He will forgive us our sins
  • Jesus was serious in His commands; we must be serious in our confession

Lectionary:  Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16; 1 Peter 2:4-10; John 14:1-12  (sermon not from lectionary)

Referenced Scriptures:  John 14:1-6; John 14:15-18; 1 John 1:8-9; 1 Corinthians 11:27-29


Love covers a multitude of sins

Sermon 07 May 2017  (Easter 4)

Love covers a multitude of sins by Fr. Dana

  • The golden rule: as you wish others to treat you, treat them
  • Gossip is spiritual stoning
  • Beware of judging others more harshly than you do yourself
  • Those who have been forgiven much, love much

Lectionary:  Nehemiah 9:6-15; Psalm 23:1-6; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10  (sermon not from lectionary)

Referenced Scriptures:  Matthew 7:7-12; John 3:16-17; John 8:2-11; Matthew 7:3; Luke 7:36-48




Love never quits

Sermon 30 April 2017  (Easter 3)

Love never quits by Fr. Dana

Lectionary:  Acts 2:29-36; Psalm 116:1-10, 15-16; 1 Peter 1:13-21; Luke 24:13-35  (sermon not from lectionary)

Referenced Scriptures:  1 John 4:8,16; Ephesians 3:14-19; John 13:34-35; John 15:12-13,17; Matthew 4:19; Luke 14:28-30; Luke 22:25b-27


Opposition ignites faith

In today’s reading we find that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were indeed saved, and much more than just saved:

“Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.’ Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.” (a portion of the Old Testament reading for today, Daniel 3:26-27)

How many times have you been in a room where only one person was smoking a cigarette, and yet when you emerged you found your hair and your clothing smelled like smoke?  These three men were thrown into this fiercely hot furnace with all their clothes on (“bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments”, v.21, probably to ensure they would catch fire immediately) and yet they emerged untouched, without even the SMELL of smoke anywhere!
This is an amazing thing: God rescued them from the fire, not by transporting them out of it but by joining them in it!

“Look!” he [Nebuchadnezzar] answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

The point of this historical event is not so much that they were saved (which is glorious!), but much more so that Jesus was with them in the trial.  Faithful men and women throughout the ages have gone through trials, and many have not been saved from death (including ten of the original 11 apostles).  But Jesus Christ was with every single one of them whether He appeared visibly or not.

That, my friends, is what gives the courage to walk through every trial … even physical danger and opposition: the knowledge that our Saviour will never let us go through it alone.  “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” (Hebrews 13:5b).  We can therefore say with confidence, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us and He will deliver us; but even if He does not, we will not forsake Him” … and then step into the fire with our Lord.

Faithfulness ignites opposition

Are you called to a position of involvement or leadership in some ministry of the Church?  If so, then know this: satan opposes every little thing that God does, and he will not fail to oppose you.  You will be tested as never before, and it won’t stop.

[King] Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
(a portion of the Old Testament reading for today, Daniel 3:14-18)

Though satan sometimes rests from his assault, he never gives up.
When he has you beaten down and discouraged … will you give up?