Sermon from the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
Sunday, February 12, 2023
By: Deacon Ben Remmert

Lord, open my mouth to speak your truth and our ears to hear it. Amen.

This past Friday my children’s preschool was having a science fair and to my surprise our son was so excited to attend and see each different experiment on fire and smoke. Hearing this excitement from Asher made me reflect on my childhood. I remember receiving a science kit for my ninth birthday from my uncle. It contained some ingredients so I could conduct simple experiments at home. The kit also came with a simple microscope. The microscope came with a slide, and you could put things from simple tap water to leaves on the slide and look at it under the scope. One recommendation was to put some onion skin under the scope. We had an onion in the house and so we did that. I was completely unprepared for what I was about to behold. Seeing the structure of the individual cells took my breath away. Who knew that such delicate structures were present in these simple onion skins?

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Sermon from Candlemass February 5, 2023

A time for peace
Candlemass, Series A
Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 84; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40
Rev. Sergio Rodriguez

At that moment she [Anna] came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem (Lk 2:38).”

Rachel McWhirter, our Director of Digital Ministry, and I had such a moment last week when we attended a World Interfaith Harmony week at First Lutheran Church in Galveston. Hindus, Buddhists, Orthodox, Jewish folks, and Lutherans. We listened to each other for a moment to speak about our deepest convictions about the peace which the world can not give. Our keynote speaker, one Father Thomas Colyando, kicked off this year’s gathering entitled, Inner Peace to Interpersonal Harmony, with this insight about peace. It is an insight that Simeon and Anna shared and from which they, “looked forward to the consolation of Israel (Lk 2:25b).” The human being possesses a heart. Simple enough. In this heart, we experience all kinds of yearns and churnings, hopes and joys, passions, and desires. For us to experience peace, the inner light of God, the uncreated Light that is God, Father, Son, and Spirit, needs to shine upon us. When God shines, inner peace comes alive. This transformation filters out what distracts us, and distills peace. This transformation allows us then to bring transformative peace to our homes, friends, and society.

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Sermon from the Fourth Sunday After Epiphany

4th Sunday after Epiphany
January 29, 2023
By: Deacon Ben Remmert
Micah 6:1-8 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Matthew 5:1-12

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus who is the great teacher. Amen.

On these rainy days, it has been a wonderful opportunity to play boardgames with my children. This week, I reflected on the games that I would played as a child and one game in particular that we would play is the game Balderdash? It’s a game where you guess the meaning of obscure words. Take the word “pleach” what does it mean:

1) a peach scented bleach
2) the curved handle of a plough
3) the interweaving of tree branches

The correct answer is # 3. Pleach is the interweaving of tree branches.

The Bible and Bible commentaries would be a good source for Balderdash. After all, words like “eschatology”, and “transubstantiation” aren’t used in everyday conversation. Beatitudes is another word that would work well in Balderdash as we often do not use it in everyday language. Biblical scholars would consider this passage in a collection called, “The canon within the canon.” They mean that these verses speak to us can summarize entire good news of the Bible. Another example of such verse is John 3:16, “ For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” This verse proclaims the gospel message so simply but profoundly.

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Sermon from 2nd Sunday after Epiphany + Commemoration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

That Spirit of Love Descending
Commemoration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
on 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, 1.15.2023
Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42
Rev. Sergio Rodriguez, Homilist

I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him (Jn 1:32).”

I want to talk to you today about Dr. Halcyon Sadberry-Watkins. Not many of us know who she is or what her contribution was to our beloved city. But we should. She, together with thirteen other Texas Southern University students, prayed at the University Flag Pole with Rev. Bill Lawson of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. It was March 4, 1960, and like polished arrows in a quiver, they were ready and filled with courage. They walked down Cleburn Avenue, with a new song in their mouth, and hunger in their bellies. They wanted to eat. Specifically they wanted to have lunch at a white’s only counter (Weingarten’s on 4110 Almeda Avenue). And as they filled the lunch counter that after, justice began to roll on like a a mighty stream (or like Buffalo Bayou). There’s an image of Mrs. Halcyon at the lunch counter. She makes the words of St. John Baptist true: “I [we, Houstonians] saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on her (Jn 1:32).” As we commemorate the life, words and word of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we ought not fail to learn about how his spirit inspired the spirits of the TSU fourteen. We ought not fail to see how the Spirit breathing Justice and Truth then, breathed and breathes live and love in us.

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Sermon from First Sunday After Christmas 1/1/2023

January 1, 2023
Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 8; Philippians 2:5-11; Saint Luke 2:15-21

In nomine Jesu!

It’s about time. No matter what lectionary readings are chosen for New Year’s Day –- and being an unreconstructed traditionalist I chose the oldest. On New Year’s Day in both the secular and sacred world, everyone’s mind is on time – past, present, and future; and woe be to the preacher who ignores this. it’s about time.

And time as counted in the Scriptures is somewhat different than time as we count it today.

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