Sermons

Keep Your Hearts Open by Megan Grant

 

“Keep Your Hearts Open”
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Covenant Baptist Church
June 21, 2015
Megan Grant

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

All too often I struggle with my inability to relate to Paul. While I am a woman who loves a good story, Paul is more of a factual sort of man. Now don’t get me wrong! He is quite the embellisher and uses way too many Greek verbs.

Nevertheless, our text today is yet another Pauline section where I wish Paul would give us tangible evidence on what EXACTLY this day of salvation or ministry of reconciliation is all about. I wouldn’t even mind if he made up a story. Read more →

Ministers of Reconciliation

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Ministers of Reconciliation”
2 Corinthians 5:17-20
Covenant Baptist Church
June 14, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

I’ve been reading Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving because no matter how hard I try or how many sermons I preach to you in an attempt to teach myself, I just can’t get this forgiveness thing down. Reconciliation is even trickier. I thought if anyone understands forgiveness and reconciliation, the man who helped heal apartheid in South Africa might know a thing or two, and as it turns out, he does.

What I appreciate about Desmond Tutu is he doesn’t gloss over the difficulty. I don’t know about you, but I grow weary of naïve little sayings about forgiveness, as if we could just instantly make the choice to forgive. Bishop Tutu knows that the process of forgiveness is long and hard and grueling, and that reconciliation requires some radical truth-telling and deep listening. Read more →

How to Find Your Heart

 

“How to Find Your Heart”
2 Corinthians 4:1, 8-12, 16-18
Covenant Baptist Church
June 7, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

I titled this sermon, “How to Find Your Heart,”
but first things first:
you may not have realized
you’d lost yours.
Hearts are sneaky like that;
they run away without leaving a note,
they go missing
without your even noticing.

“Do not lose heart”
the Scriptures say,
so periodically
I place my hand just here,
to see if mine is still there.
If I don’t check in with myself,
I just assume my heart’s where it is supposed to be,
doing it’s thing,
but if I stopped and noticed
I could see that I am living
not from my heart, but
out of my head
I’m living
out of my angst or my fear,
out of my ego
and the heart’s got nothing to do with it.
The heart’s gone into hiding;
the heart of me has been lost. Read more →

A Few Reminders by Larry Davis

Sermon
A FEW REMINDERS
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX
Larry E. Davis

Text: Romans 8:12-17;  with Psalm 29, John 3:16-17, and Isaiah 6:1-8

 

On this Trinity Sunday we are gathered at a threshold moment. Our friend and pastor, Kyndall, is in Waco this morning preaching in view of a call to Lake Shore Baptist Church. We have had a couple of weeks to digest that news, to feel what we need to feel, to begin talking together about our past, present, and future. I figured this would be a good time for me to just be very open about all that. And in the process I also believe it is good to remind ourselves of a few basics. So that is my mission this morning, as pedantic and obvious as it seems, maybe it all just needs to be said out loud.

This past week Cynthia sent a very loving email message to all of us about the process of grief, the experience of loss. Those of us who live with grief and loss in our own experience resonate with what she had to say and to what she offered from her heart. Grief, of course, is a complicated business. Our feelings bounce around, go back and forth from denial to anger to depression to bargaining to flirting with acceptance and back again. You may not have all those feelings. Some have other kinds of responses, but most of us experience those feelings at one time or another as we deal with loss. Read more →

We Are More Than a Pile of Bones

 

“We Are More Than a Pile of Bones”
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Covenant Baptist Church
May 24, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

I have a chapter in my book titled “Bones,” and in it I retell a story I read about La Loba, an old woman who lives in the forest and collects the bones of animals.[1] She collects bones in her cave, and when she has enough bones to make a full skeleton of a creature, she arranges the bones by a fire and begins to sing. As she sings, she stands above the bones and raises her arms, and as the wind carries the melody, the bones begin to take on flesh. The bones grow muscles, veins, skin, fur. The creature grows a tail, a heart begins to pump blood. And last but not least the animal takes in a breath. With the breath, “it stands on its feet, stretches its full body, then leaps and runs out into the wild, reborn.”[2]

La Loba’s work is what being Christian looks like—we sing resurrection songs over that which has died—we sing over a faith that has been buried, over a relationship that is fractured or a heart that is broken, over a project that has lost its vision, over a victim who has been violated, over an addict who is ready to be free. We bring hope to what appears to be fading away. Read more →

A Story and a Letter

 

A Sermon for Covenant
A Story and a Letter
John 17:6-19
Covenant Baptist Church
May 17, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Once upon a time, there was a girl . . . well, a girl on her way to becoming a woman, and this girl, she wanted to preach. She thought she wanted to pastor a church. But she lived in the far-off land of Oklahoma, and the Baptist kings had sent out a decree across the land—“No Girls Allowed in the Pulpit.” And the kings hired many scholars of ancient Scripture to research their law and give support to it. They signed the decree with their royal names, and that was that. No women could preach. Read more →

Steve’s Sermon: 1 Peter 2:11-12

 

A Sermon for Covenant
1 Peter 2:11-12
Covenant Baptist Church
May 10, 2015
Steve Spivey

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

This Is a Wilderness Road

 

A Sermon for Covenant
This Is a Wilderness Road
Acts 8:26-39
Covenant Baptist Church
May 3, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Our story begins, “Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.)”

Let’s pause there and note what the narrator notes—this is a wilderness road. My Bible places that sentence in parenthesis, but I don’t believe this detail is a parenthetical at all. This detail is our first indication that something strange and holy is about to happen.

In the Bible things happen in the wilderness. People go there and get tempted and tried, they go there by divine inspiration, they go there to fast and to pray, they end up miraculously fed, they end up baptized—think the Israelites or Elijah, John the Baptist or Jesus—the wilderness is where things happen. The wilderness nearly always represents a time of testing and trial. Read more →

Big God, Small God, Bold Speech, Bad Speech

 

A Sermon for Covenant
Big God, Small God, Bold Speech, Bad Speech
Acts 4:13-31
Covenant Baptist Church
April 12, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

We have probably all known someone who claimed to speak for God. They said they had a word from the Lord, or a message from the Holy Spirit, but what they chose to say was misguided or untrue or harmful.

Sometimes us sensible folks have decided to leave God out of it. We recognize how dangerous it is to slap God’s name on something that may turn out to be our own feeble opinion or stubborn prejudice. What we thought was the Spirit of God stirring in our bellies may actually be self-righteous indignation that we share out loud just to relieve our own angst. Or we might try to “tell the truth in love” only to realize later we used the name of God to justify our own need to try and control someone else’s behavior.

Once you realize how easy it is to mess up words, especially God-words, you might suddenly get a little shy about talking religion.  For me, learning how to use my voice to speak of God has been hard. I have to dig pretty deep and wrestle lot of confusion and ask many questions before I discover a truthful nugget worth saying. And even as I am saying it, I doubt whether it was the thing to say or whether I should have said that other thing, or whether I should say nothing at all and finally become a Quaker, where the speaking expectations are low. Read more →

Leaping Through the Beautiful Gate by Kate Bean

 

“Leaping Through the Beautiful Gate”
Acts 3:1-12, 16
Covenant Baptist Church
April 19, 2015
Kate Bean

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

The view from his vantage point wasn’t much to speak of. Dust. Dirty feet. Piles of animal manure. A life spent on the ground. A person created in the image of God, spent his entire life literally being looked down upon.

It’s no wonder at all that our introduction to this man paints him as daily being brought to the Beautiful Gate. Scholars still debate where this gate actually was, because no other sources refer to a gate by this name. Many have accepted claim that it must be the Nicanor gate, a gate that was described as having exquisite craftsmanship, cast in bronze. Read more →