Sermons

No-shows and Nobodies

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“No-Shows and Nobodies”
Matthew 21:23-32
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
September 28, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Likely you understand the disappointment of someone making a promise to you but not following through. A friend tells you they are going to do a thing, and then they do not do it, and it hurts. For all these years, all these centuries, the religious leaders had been saying they were preparing for the coming of the Messiah. But then he came, and they turned up their noses. Read more →

Open the Door to Mystery

 

“Open the Door to Mystery”
Hebrews 13:1-3
Covenant Baptist Church
September 21, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

I was fascinated by this concept as a child. If you ever watched Touched by an Angel, you may know what I mean when I say I used to wonder if a stranger seemed extra kind or somehow sparkly, could they be an angel in disguise?

As I’ve grown older, this passage has come to mean something more magical and more fantastic than the possibility of dining with literal angels. What I understand when I read this passage now is that by opening the door to a stranger, we are opening the door to God’s mystery. Hospitality is Christianity’s form of a gateway drug into the extraordinary. If you open your heart, if you open your home, if you open your life and your soul and your family to unexpected people and unexpected visits, you might just encounter the likeness of God. You never know who you will meet or how they will change you or what message from the heavens they may bear. This is why it is much safer (and far less magical) to keep your doors shut and your hearts closed and your eyes downcast or at least glued to the television. Don’t let anything new or unusual weasel its way in to your soul, or you just might get pulled into an adventure. Read more →

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 →