Sermons

Generous Spirit

 

“Generous Spirit of the Resurrected Community”
Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133
Covenant Baptist Church
April 12, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)

Today’s psalm reading says, “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.”

Eugene Peterson translates the psalm this way: “How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!”

Anne Lamott says things slightly differently, reminding us, “Families are hard, hard, hard, no matter how cherished and astonishing they may also be. At family gatherings where you suddenly feel homicidal or suicidal, remember that in half of all cases, it’s a miracle that this annoying person even lived.” She ways, “Earth is Forgiveness School. You might as well start at the dinner table. That way, you can do this work in comfortable pants. When Blake said that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love, he knew that your family would be an intimate part of this, even as you want to run screaming for your cute little life. But that you are up to it. You can do it, Cinderellie. You will be amazed.” Read more →

Love Stronger Than Death

 

“Love Stronger Than Death”
John 20:11-18
Easter Sunday, Covenant Baptist Church
April 5, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)

They call me a woman with a past—some speculate I was a prostitute, some gave me worse names than that. The truth is . . .

The truth is, my past is a long, long story. They say by my mid-twenties I’d acquired seven demons which is more than most people acquire in a lifetime. Different people define demons in different ways but the point is, whatever your biggest wound is, whatever your worst grief, whatever your most difficult struggle—I’ve suffered a similar one, plus another six, each as egregious as the last. The Scriptures never say that I was a sinner or a woman of the night—those labels came from rumor and hearsay. But the demons—whatever more modern name you might give them—those were real. I don’t say this to be dramatic or ask for sympathy. I only say it so you’ll know what I mean when I tell you I was healed. Read more →

Cry Hosanna

 

A Sermon for Covenant
Cry Hosanna
Matthew 11:1-11; 14:1-2
Covenant Baptist Church
March 29, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)

Just before he was killed, there was this moment in time where he was praised and applauded, and the people loved him. Well okay, not everyone loved him. But lots of ordinary people did. Not so much the clergy. Not so much the political leaders. But the people loved him, which makes you wonder where they were a few days later where then the other cries and shouts began, the ones that said, “Crucify! Crucify!” Makes you wonder how popular opinion changed so fast, how the song they were singing turned to screech, how the words of one week could be such a far cry from the words of the next. Read more →

Mercy Not Sacrifice

 

“Mercy Not Sacrifice”
Matthew 9:1-13
Covenant Baptist Church
March 22, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)

In the novel, Silence, a priest from Portugal travels to Japan as a missionary during a time of great persecution of Christians in that country.[1] Throughout the novel, Christians all over the country face torture and even death, and all throughout the novel, Christ is silent. God is silent. A few Christians lose their courage and apostatize. Many of them stay resolute and do not recant their faith. All the while, God says nothing to the priest. There seems to be no comfort, no deliverance, but the priest remains faithful.

At the end of the novel, the priest himself has been captured. He is told he must apostatize, not only to spare his own life, but to spare the lives of three other Christians—peasants who have already recanted their faith, but are still being tortured while the priest decides whether to recant and thereby spare their lives or refuse to recant and watch them die. All through the night, he can hear their moans as they hang over a pit, blood slowly dripping from the slit behind their ears where they have been cut. It is a gruesome scene. Read more →

Love One Another

 

“Love One Another”
John 13:34-35
Covenant Baptist Church
March 15, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)

Love is a life-long lesson, a never-ending mystery, and a consistent challenge, so Jesus says, “Follow me. I’ll show you.”

This new command to love another follows on the heels of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. “Love one another” is not just a pretty little free-floating line. The words “Just as I have loved you” connect the abstract idea of love quite solidly to Jesus’ own concrete acts. God has demonstrated for us what love is, what love looks like in real actions. It seems to me God perhaps has more reason to hate, to condemn, and to lash out than anyone else; after all, it was God who created this human race to be a communion of saints and then had to watch one-by-one as we have fallen instead into a bloodbath of destruction and division. Yet despite this horrifying disappointment, God gets down on God’s knees, takes up a pitcher, a basin, a towel, reaches for your stinky feet and demonstrates that love is still possible. Read more →

Judge Not

 

“Judge Not”
Matthew 7:1-5
Covenant Baptist Church
March 8, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)

This year during the season of Lent, we’re looking at Jesus, and we’re not just looking at Jesus and what he has done for us. We are looking at Jesus and what he has done for others, and what it would mean for our relationships with others if we were to follow him.

Today Jesus says that short but difficult line, “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged,” and I think it’s important to note not only that Jesus said this with his words, but that with his life, he was always disappointing people as judge. The people wanted a God who would judge they way they did, and they did not get that kind of God. Read more →

Love Your Enemies

 

“Love Your Enemies”
Matthew 5:38-48
Covenant Baptist Church
March 1, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)

Refuse to retaliate.
I do not think I have to convince you
this is the Jesus Way to live
amidst this broken-up world of strife.
You already know vengeance does not belong to you;
you already know it
that Jesus says to love
even your enemy.

Read more →

Forgiveness is a Process

 

“Forgiveness Is a Process”
Matthew 18:21-22
Covenant Baptist Church
February 22, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)

Christ essentially makes forgiveness nonnegotiable. Peter wants to know, when can I get out of this? But it’s not like Peter is a forgiveness wimp. He’s willing to forgive seven times, which is more than many of us might manage. But eventually he feels there’s got to be a cut off. No one’s got enough stamina to keep this up forever, he feels. “How far?” he asks. “How long?” Jesus says, “This isn’t a 5k. It’s a marathon. When you think you can’t go another mile, you must go yet another mile, and then another.” Read more →

Ash Wednesday Homily

A Lenten Homily
Isaiah 58:1-12
Covenant Baptist Church
Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

Every year on Ash Wednesday, the church says, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

The poet Mary Oliver says this, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”[1] which is essentially the same sentiment. Ash Wednesday is the day we look at our fleeting lives and are humbled by their brevity. Then we take stock. We make an honest inventory of who we are and how we’ve been spending our days. Just how do we want to live our remaining days, and will we begin today or wait another year or so to start? Read more →

God Shines Through Jesus

 

“God Shines Through Jesus”
Mark 9:1-9; 2 Corinthians 4:6
Covenant Baptist Church
February 15, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)

“For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Cor. 4:6

I love the Transfiguration because I love the idea of people glowing. I guess I don’t find it that hard to believe because I’ve seen people in love and I’ve seen people holding newborns and I’ve seen people experience forgiveness and so a shining face makes sense to me. Just a few extra doses of God’s presence, and of course a person could downright glow.

I love Transfiguration Sunday because I think this is the moment we are supposed to get it, that Jesus is God. We may have been distracted before but now is the time to open our eyes. We have been in the dark before, but this is the moment the light comes on. God puts it this way: “This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.” Read more →