Sermons


All sermons are by Rev. Stephen Springer, unless otherwise noted.
Sermons are available in text and/or audio format.

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October 15, 2017 :: Lectionary 28A [Matthew 22:1-14]
And so whatever you make of it, whatever your opinion is, the facts are that the Jesus in Matthew’s gospel says a lot more about judgment and condemnation and hell than any other gospel writer… The architecture of Matthew’s gospel assures us that judgment is God’s, and God’s alone. And there is a strong imperative that we quit trying to separate ourselves into saints and sinners and get on with the business of discipleship.
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October 8, 2017 :: Lectionary 27A [Occasional]
Most Americans, most American culture, and most American Christianity is extremely idealistic. Or wants to be. When humans invest heavily in dreams and ideals, and those ideals fail, then humans become extremely bitter, extremely angry, extremely cynical. In America right now we are seeing the consequence of broken dreams and shattered ideals. And then people retreating to their corners, to their closed rooms, and doubling down, investing even more in those ideals.
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October 1, 2017 :: Lectionary 26A [Matthew 21:23-32]
In our broken relationships, in our wrong choices, in our bad luck, in the places where the ground has shifted under our feet: Jesus opens a new door. We have a chance to turn our “No” into a Yes. We have space and time to change or minds and to walk through that door.
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September 24, 2017 :: Lectionary 25A [Jonah 3:10-4:11; Matthew 20:1-16]
In Jonah, God has a high regard for what we would call non-believers. Even non-believers who are our enemies. And God has a high regard for cattle. And God’s project of mercy and justice extends to all of it. Everything he made… God’s amazing “YES” to you and to me is also a “YES” to the whole world out there. And the scriptures today tell us that our attitude should reflect that.
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September 17, 2017 :: Lectionary 24A [Matthew 18:21-35]
If we want shalom, if we want peace, here, east of Eden, we engage in this very difficult process of forgiveness… Jesus seems to be saying that the lavishness of God’s grace should make us more magnanimous toward others.
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September 10, 2017 :: Lectionary 23A [Matthew 18:15-20]
In today’s reading from the Gospel According to Matthew, when Jesus says that the Church– not just Peter, but THE CHURCH– when Jesus says that the Church can bind and loosen, Jesus probably means that the Church can tighten the Ten Commandments and human conscience. And sometimes the Church can loosen the Ten Commandments and human conscience.
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September 3, 2017 :: Lectionary 22A [Matthew 16:21-28]
So the Bible has a lot of words do describe the people in this room. But one of those words– ekklesia, church– means the designated agency, the uniformed body, the public expression. And like the uniformed police officer, with that role comes great responsibility and great duty.
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August 27, 2017 :: Lectionary 21A [Matthew 16:13-20]
[Mark and Matthew] knew that if Jesus hadn’t established a church with Peter that they wouldn’t be writing gospels because there wouldn’t be a church, there wouldn’t be a people of God… Jesus comes to us because of the rock of people like Peter, people who are built up into the Church.
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August 20, 2017 :: Special Sermon [The Canticle “Glory to God in the Highest”]
In these days it is fitting that part of our customary practice, part of our witness is this great song about Christ that establishes kinship. Horizontally, around the world, every Sunday with hundreds of millions of Christians in every time zone and in every language. And vertically, through the centuries and the eons, testifying to our unity with the saints of the ages.
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August 13, 2017 :: Lectionary 19A [Matthew 14:22-33]
The first 12:45 of this podcast are the sermon; the remaining minutes are the hymn “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” (aka “the Navy Hymn.”)  “Although the other gospels talk about Jesus calming the storm– only in Matthew do we get this compelling story of Peter. Stepping out of the boat. And beginning to walk. But then losing his nerve– being seized by fear– and beginning to sink.”
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August 6, 2017 :: Lectionary 18A [Matthew 14:13-21]
Jesus feeds thousands.  “God sees us and accompanies us in those hungry and abandoned and scary regions of our lives. The places precisely where we do NOT have everything we need, and where we cannot rely on ourselves and where we cannot make our own solutions.”
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July 30, 2017 :: Lectionary 17A [Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52]
“The important work of a community like ours is to include both the old and the new. The things which have been appraised and treasured in the past. And the things which will be appraised and treasured in the future.”
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July 23, 2017 :: Lectionary 16A [Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 ]
“We don’t make permanent judgments that are not ours to make. And in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives us two good reasons. First, because God has been so generous and forgiving to us that we must be generous in spirit to others. And if that isn’t enough,then we should refrain from judging others because we don’t know. That’s God’s job.”
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July 16, 2017 :: Lectionary 15A [Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23]
“The Sower just stays faithful to his task. Some people may think he’s crazy. Some people may think he’s wasteful. But I think this an image that should inspire us.”
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July 9, 2017 :: Lectionary 14A [Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30; Psalm 45:7 ]
“We are called to look deeply at our own selves and our own lives. We are called to be honest about our true limitations and our true motivations. We are called to rely on the mercy and assistance of God. Our faith is not in our selves.”
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