Sermons

Will You Dance on the Walls?

 

“Will You Dance on the Walls?”
Ephesians 2:11-22
Covenant Baptist Church
July 19, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

In August of 1961, trucks and construction workers rolled quietly down the middle of Berlin during the dead of night, and by morning, a wall was in place that stretched over a hundred miles. Whatever side of the city you slept on that night was the side you were stuck on. If your job was on the other side of the wall, too bad. If your family, your friends, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your children were on the other side of the wall, too bad.

More than 25 years later, the wall finally came down. Just the other day Ben was telling me what it was like in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down. I was a little too young back then to appreciate what was happening, but as he told it, no one expected it to happen so soon. All around the world there was shock and celebration. In Berlin, once people knew the wall was opening, that they could pass freely from East to West, many started chipping away at the concrete wall. Others climbed on top and began dancing.[1] Read more →

Where Is God? by Megan Grant

 

Mark 6:14-29
Megan Grant

 

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

In hindsight, choosing to follow the Lectionary as faithfully as I can, may not have been the best idea. For example, I do not think most preachers imagine a text such as today’s as their dream sermon passage. An undeserved murder treated as a backhanded eulogy is not really my idea of inspiration.

For the first half of the week, I was convinced that I would be speaking to you all about the power of memory and how Mark’s literary use of sandwiching stories gives readers pause so that they can dive a little deeper into the story. That upon investigation, readers can see today’s section being between the sending off and return of the Twelve. That this could have been space used to articulate the thoughts of some of those disciples. Would they have to fear being imprisoned and beheaded like their last teacher? Could this passage be the defining moment for them where they said, “No matter the cost, I will press on in the work of God’s Kingdom!”?

Perhaps those are still valid thoughts, but as Sunday drew nearer, I felt my soul ask, “Will you, please, look again?” I felt within me the necessity to return to the text without any planned speech and restart my exploration of what Mark may have been trying to tap into. Read more →

Twelve Unwasted Years

 

Twelve Unwasted Years
Mark 5:24-34
Covenant Baptist Church
July 5, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

This particular story about the hemorrhaging woman is so disgustingly incarnational, right on par with Jesus touching the rancid skin of a leper or God being born from a human womb, chased out with a placenta, needing his umbilical cord cut. Ew. I love incarnational stories because I like the way they remind us that “human” is an okay thing to be—sagging skin, runny noses, and all. They remind us that even Jesus was human, that though he was God, he did not find this being human too disgusting or too discouraging of a thing to try. Read more →

Talitha Koum

 

“Talitha Koum”
Mark 5
Covenant Baptist Church
June 28, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Cross Ties Ecumenical Church in Waco wanted to know how they could best serve their community, and instead of guessing at what that might be, or assuming they already had the answers, they asked their neighbors for input. The church is located in an impoverished area of town, and when they talked to their local schools, they learned about how children in poverty were struggling in the classroom. Instead of automatically offering tutoring support, they dug deeper, searching for the root of the problem.

Cross Ties learned that from infancy many of these children’s brains were being wired to respond to trauma rather than respond to a classroom, so that they were incapable of adjusting to school by the time they got there. Their impressionable little minds had been mis-formed early on, such that tutoring them at the age of five or six was too late. Read more →

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 →