Sermons

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 →

The Art of Faithful Searching (by Megan Grant)

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“The Art of Faithful Searching”
Luke 4:1-13
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 6, 2014
Megan Grant

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

His heart was pounding, muscles tight, jaw clenched, and he was waiting for the next plague of questions to pass. As his stomach rolled like a violent wave, his mind flashed back to his baptism.

The day had been cool with the breeze perfectly drying the sweat on his brow. He heard his cousin’s booming voice up ahead and smiled as he drew closer. After waiting his turn, he finally took the plunge into the Jordan River. His head broke the surface of the water, and after praying whatever it was one prayed when baptism of repentance first began, the heavens split, a dove descended, and the very voice of God echoed across the sky: “This is My Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Read more →

Do You Jump When God Says Jump Kill?

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Do You Jump When God Says Jump Kill?”
Genesis 22:1-14
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
June 29, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

“A teleological suspension of the ethical.”

That’s how Kierkegaard explained the binding of Isaac.

Resolves it nicely, don’t you think? All better!

(Be sure you write that down: “the teleological suspension of the ethical.” You can use it for your daily meditations.)

Kierkegaard was grappling with how God could command something counter to God’s own nature, and how Abraham could even consider following through with it. We know from at least 16 places in Scripture that God was very much against child sacrifice, so how was it, in this one special case, that God could require something so profoundly contradictory to God’s own self?

Never mind that it works out in the end. It is the beginning we find so appalling to our sensibilities and contrary to our theology. How could God ask for such a thing in the first place? Read more →

Seeing Through Tears

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Seeing Through Tears”
Genesis 21:8-21
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
June 22, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

 

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

It was at least her second stint stranded in the desert. Once as a freshly pregnant young woman; now again as a single mother, and who knows how many other times between? Her relationship with Sarah had long been a bit testy, ever since she’d slept with Sarah’s husband, but to be fair to Hagar, the whole arrangement was Sarah’s idea, for Abraham to impregnate her slave-girl so Abraham could have a son at last. Read more →

Forget the Tent

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Forget the Tent”
Numbers 11:24-30 (with Acts 2:1-21)
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
Pentecost Sunday
June 8, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

 

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

Eldad and Medad—I love those guys! They’re prophesying in camp, doing their own thing, telling of God, causing a ruckus. They don’t even bother with the tent. THE TENT where all the official, important, fancy people are. They don’t wait for Moses or for approval. They don’t bother with the elders. They are just overcome and so they speak out without a backwards glance at where the sacred speech is supposed to happen, outside the camp. They talk in the camp, to the camp, as part of the camp.

But some young man, full of concern, books it to Moses and cries, “Ah!” to which Joshua replies, “Oh no!” but Moses merely laughs, “Yes! That’s what I’m talking about! This, every day, please!” Read more →

A Generous Glory

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“A Generous Glory”
John 17:1-6; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
June 1, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Glorify—it’s a word I trip over. We hear it said, “Glorify God,” but, first of all, it doesn’t seem to me God really needs help in the glory department. The Bible says if we are silent, even the rocks will cry out and that’s not to mention the boom of the sunrise, the song of mountain peaks, or the chorus of whales on ocean waves. Seems to me like there is little we can add to the majesty—with or without us, the choir sings on. Read more →

I Will Not Leave You Orphaned

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“I Will Not Leave You Orphaned”
John 14:15-21
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
May 25, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

 

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

“Why did God let me see that?” Jeff had tears in his eyes as he told us what he had seen. We were partway through our stay in Moldova, and Jeff had spent a day tracking down the little girl he loved the way a father loves. She had been a girl he sponsored through JMI, but since her orphanage had been shut down and her biological mother had showed up at Luida’s new shelter and taken her back, no one was certain where Luida was or how she fared. Jeff just had to know, had to find out before he left the country and returned to the U.S. So he took a translator and went on a goose chase, trekking through villages and back streets to find her, stopping along the way and asking local folks for help. After a long search, along with the interpreter, he ended up walking a winding path up a forgotten hill, passing trash heaps and run-down patchwork shanties. He was near a dilapidated shack with only three walls standing when Luida peered out from behind one of the walls and called his name, “Jeff!” Amazingly, miraculously, he had found her. Read more →

I Am the Truth

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“I Am the Truth”
John 14:1-14
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
May 18, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

The way I want to get at the text today is to begin by telling some truth about my own life. When I was a kid, they called this sort of talk, testimony. I’d call it, baring my soul. You might call it, one of Kyndall’s longer sermons. Stick with me for a few minutes while I hold back the curtain and give you a peek into my own journey with the truth . . .

In August of 2012, I had a spiritual awakening that swept through me. When I returned from my private retreat I was writing so much I decided to start a blog just to have a place to put some of my words. I wasn’t as secretive with my blogging as Gordon—naming your site kyndallrae hardly lends itself to the same anonymity as the mysterious Real Live Preacher. Still, I was private with my blog at first. I didn’t much share it via social media; I didn’t talk about it. I wanted people to read it and resonate, of course, but I also didn’t want people to read it. Read more →

I Want

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“I Want”
Psalm 23; John 10:1-10
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
May 11, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not want.

On a day like Mother’s Day, we are encouraged to give thanks to our mothers and to honor them, to remember those generous women in our lives who have been like mothers to us, and to rest in the extravagant love of a God who scoops us up in his wings like a mother hen.

But Mother’s Day also makes me remember the women—and men too—who desperately want to be parents but suffer miscarriage after miscarriage, who endure doctor after doctor trying to put an end to infertility. I think of people I’ve known whose adoption fell through, and the little one they dreamed of joining their family never came. I think of devoted mothers who positively ache over lost and estranged children, and mothers who want more than anything for a sick kid to get a healthy life or an unhappy one to find their joy and these unanswered prayers hurt them in a way only a parent can hurt. Mother’s Day also makes me think of the adult children I know who desperately want a working relationship with their mother or their father, but they do not or cannot have one. I think of those who have lost their mothers and the mothers who have lost their children and all the folks who ache for family. Read more →