Sermons

Set Mercy Loose

 

“Set Mercy Loose”
Matthew 18:15-35
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
September 14, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Let’s begin with what is infamously known as one of the “church discipline” passages of Scripture—the “if anyone sins against you” instructions—and let’s begin our interpretation by recognizing that the first order of business is discerning what a “sin against you” is. The church universal has gotten this woefully wrong on many occasions. Perhaps like me you’ve heard (or even witnessed) horror stories where unwed pregnant women are made to “confess” their sins before the whole church, where couples are made to give detailed accounts of their marriage problems or teenagers forced to admit to their wild parties. That is, this passage has been used as a tool to shame and humiliate and control.

I have also heard horror stories on the other extreme—where sin, that is, evil—is not taken seriously enough. I’ve heard about abused women being sent by their church back into dangerous homes. I’ve heard about church leaders covering up for priests who have molested children. I’ve heard about meddlers being allowed to destroy families and churches by stirring up lies and rumors. I’ve heard about pastors who have allowed known sex-offenders to work with the church’s children. It happens all the time that the most insidious and addictive behaviors of those in power go unconfronted and unmonitored and unaddressed—allowed to breed in secrecy—while the mistakes or mere quirks and differences of those on the fringe of a group get frowned upon, spat upon, made a spectacle of, and ostracized. Read more →

The State of Our Union 2014

 

“The State of Our Union”
Philippians 1:3
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
September 7, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

This is my “State of Our Union” sermon and I can tell you it is true that I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Covenant Baptist Church, you have been so special to me these last three years. I’m in a perpetual state of gratitude when I think of you because I feel so lucky to have found you or been found by you, whichever the case may be. That may sound a bit mushy, but I mean it. Read more →

Chansin Esparza’s Sermon

 

A Sermon for Covenant
Matthew 16:21-28
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
August 31, 2014
Chansin Esparza

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

Name Your Life Manasseh

 

“Name Your Life Manasseh
Genesis 50:15-21
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
August 24, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Joseph had two sons. He named them Manasseh and Ephraim, and here’s why:

The name Manasseh: “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house”

The name Ephraim: “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortunes”

Manasseh, from a Hebrew word meaning making to forget, only Joseph did not really forget, did he? The minute he is reunited with his brothers, it is clear he has kept his past in his heart all along. He remembered everything. So what did it mean to name his son Manasseh? What did it mean to “forget”? Read more →

Forgiveness

 

“Forgiveness”
Genesis 45:1-15
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
August 17, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

With Megan as my witness, I got thoroughly exasperated this week trying to craft the Sunday morning hour. You see, we began with this wonderful text of reconciliation. There is hardly a more beautiful reunion in all of Scripture. (A bit of a relief after the Tamar story, wouldn’t you say?) After all the challenging stories we’ve been exploring lately, this one feels just perfect, completely right as the centerpiece for our worship.

Only, can you believe that I could not find a single song in our whole hymnal about forgiving one another? Not one. Now, I may have overlooked something—I really hope I overlooked something—but after a long search, I came up with nothing. We’ve got plenty of hymns in there about rising up as Christian soldiers, about victory over our foes, and about the greatness of America. There’s a mother’s day hymn and a battle hymn of the republic and a song for when the roll is called up yonder, but there is no music for the church about forgiving each other. Read more →

Old Men, Fields, and Goodbyes (by Megan Grant)

 

“Old Men, Fields, and Goodbyes”
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 10, 2014
Megan Grant

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

Some meetings have a mysterious ability to awaken something inside of us. It’s as if there seems to be an unacknowledged fire just beneath the surface of our souls that burns through us when another voice throws some sparks on it. It seems like the most meaningful encounters happen when and where we least expect it. Read more →

Tamar, the Blessed Transgressor

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Tamar, the Blessed Transgressor”
Genesis 38:6-26
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
August 3, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

She is a force to be reckoned with, that Tamar. Not your ordinary woman; not your ordinary widow. She is clever, cunning, courageous. She is one of those women we don’t quite know what to do with. Her story doesn’t show up in the lectionary, and probably not in Sunday School either, although her name appears in the lineage of Jesus in the book of Matthew. If it weren’t for Matthew dredging this name, this woman, back into our consciousness, we might be content to just leave this one alone. It’s uncomfortable to read about semen in church. And that’s just how the story begins . . . it gets shockingly more twisted as the plot unfolds. Read more →

When Earthquakes Happen (by Megan Grant)

 

“When Earthquakes Happen”
Genesis 29:15-28
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 6, 2014
Megan Grant

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

When earthquakes happen, there’s almost nothing you can do to prepare. They hit instantaneously and literally rip open the ground beneath you. Anything you think is stable and secure will be rocked, broken down, or even destroyed. Sometimes I wonder if people aren’t walking earthquakes. Read more →

The Nightlife of God

 

“The Nightlife of God”
Genesis 28:10-19a
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 20, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

You may have been taught to think of night as the time God turns in and devils come out to play. But what if, when the sun sets, God is only getting started? You may have said your prayers and tucked your activity in for the night, but God, as the Psalmist declares, neither slumbers nor sleeps.

Generally speaking, we imagine a God who keeps company with the light. After all, creation began with those life-stirring words, “Let there be light,” and Christ is known as the light of the world. But in Psalm 121, there is a surprising twist in the language where God is called the shade at your right hand, so that the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. In other words, God is the darkness that covers you and protects you from the glare of day. Many of us have suffered a sunburn, but who has ever been beat up by the moonlight? Yet here in the imagination of the Psalmist, even moon is a threat and God is shade, shadow, blanket, shield. Read more →

Cook Your Own Stew

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Cook Your Own Stew”
Genesis 25:24-34
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 13, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

A psychologist once explained to me that a person with a narcissistic personality disorder is like a bucket with holes. For some reason—life experiences, upbringing, or whatnot—they never learned to plug the holes in their bucket. They are desperately needy for you to fill their bucket with love and attention, then more love and attention, but no matter how much you give—even if you pour your whole self out—it will all drain away and they will be left unsatisfied, maybe even angry at you for failing to fill them.

I’m sorta curious as to whether we all have a touch of narcissism, that is, a hole or two we still haven’t learned to plug. Maybe it’s just me, and you know how to stay perfectly filled, but my heart feels perpetually leaky. No matter how many hugs I get, I still need another one. No matter how many tough-girl boards I nail over cracks, no matter how many clever patches I plaster over pinholes, affection drains out and I want/need more. Read more →