Sermons

John 6:30-51a

 
A Sermon for Covenant
John 6:30-35, 41-43, 47-51a
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
August 12, 2012
Kyndall Renfro

 

No one counts the kids. “Five Thousand Men!” the headlines say, but no one would have got fed at all if it weren’t for me, a kid. At first, I was utterly swallowed up in the crowd that day—too short to see or be seen. So many people had flocked out to see Jesus. Some of them had traveled far, hoping to get healed or see a healing, but no one had thought to bring a lunch, ‘cept for me. Well, it wasn’t really me who thought of it. Mama always sends me out with food, so when the crowd started complaining about hunger pains, I thought I had better offer to help. Read more →

2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a

 
A Sermon for Covenant
2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
August 5, 2012
Kyndall Renfro


Basil the Blessed, a saint of the church, lived at the same time as the violent tsar, Ivan the Terrible. One year during Lent, Basil took a gift of meat to Ivan the Terrible, but Ivan refused to eat it in honor of Lent, claiming to be a devout Christian. Basil shrewdly replied, “Then why do you feed on innocent blood?” It was a gutsy thing to say to a tsar, and it was a gutsy thing that Nathan did to King David. Read more →

2 Samuel 11:1-15

 
Sermon for Covenant
2 Samuel 11:1-15
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 29, 2012
Kyndall Renfro
 

David’s Giant No-No: the one dirty Bible story everyone knows. There are plenty such stories in Scripture, of course, but perhaps none as well-known as the Big Bathsheba Blunder. Poor Uriah; did he even know what hit him? Read more →

We are One

 
“We are One (whether we like it or not)”
Ephesians 2:11-22
Covenant Baptist Church
July 22, 2012
Aurelia Pratt
 

There’s an old saying about family. You’ve heard it; I’m sure. It goes something like “you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”  Personally, I prefer this timeless adage the way Jem so wisely put it when he paraphrased his father’s words in the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. He said “Aunty, Atticus says you can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ‘em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.”  Read more →

2 Samuel 6:12b-23

 
A Sermon for Covenant
2 Samuel 6:12b-23
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 15, 2012
Kyndall Renfro

 

Today’s story reminds me of a tabloid in the grocery store check-out line. The story-teller flashes us a High Definition photo of the celebrity of the century: King David, the sexiest man in Jerusalem. Right underneath this glamour shot of David’s winning smile and handsome features, there’s a caption airing the dirty laundry of the royal family for all the world to see. Read more →

2 Samuel 1:17-27

 

A Sermon for Covenant
2 Samuel 1:17-27
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 1, 2012
Kyndall Renfro 

If all you ever heard at church were songs and sermons and cute clichés—that is, if you left out the Bible—you might be persuaded that Christianity was a pleasant short of religion, full of bedtime stories for children. If you crack open this book at all, you are bound to be disturbed.

An alarming case in point, Psalm 137, verses 8-9: “Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy are those who repay you . . . happy are those who seize your infants and dash them against the rocks.” Read more →

David and . . . Who?

 
A Sermon for Covenant
David and . . .Who?
1 Samuel 17:31-49
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
June 24, 2012
Larry Davis
 

The 2007 movie In the Valley of Elah, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron, takes its title from the setting of our Old Testament scripture text for today, the Elah Valley (“the valley of terebinth trees”) in southern Israel. The movie is a powerful statement about the cost of war, the profound loss experienced by father and mother, the persistent search for truth (no matter how painful) against all odds. It is subtly marked with “David and Goliath” themes: a young man serving his country and losing his soul in the face of the Goliath of brutality in modern warfare; the lonely father and the courageous young female detective facing institutional inertia and cover-ups. . .  There is even one scene in which the father (Tommy Lee Jones) tells the story of David and Goliath to the detective’s (Charlize Theron’s) young son. His version focuses on how “little guys” can be winners in the face of overwhelming “big guys” if they know how to be brave.

In fact our whole culture is littered with “David and Goliath” references, from the front page to the business pages to the sports pages. Any time someone takes on a corporate giant or the government, it’s “David and Goliath.” Any time an underdog team unexpectedly defeats a major champion, it’s “David and Goliath.” It has become a cliché, really. It’s often trite and fairly trivial. And so many times this text is read in the church in just that way. It is seen as a story of how a “little guy” manages to defeat, against all odds, a “big guy.” And it finds standard spiritual application in stale little moralisms about how God is bigger than any of the giants you face in life. With God’s help you can overcome anything. Well that reading almost completely misses the point of the story. Read more →

1 Samuel 16:1-13

 
A Sermon for Covenant
1 Samuel 16:1-13; Mark 4:30-32
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
June 17, 2012
Kyndall Renfro

 

Abinadab was the wealthiest, most powerful king in all the land. He was admired by all his subjects, feared by all his enemies. It was said that the very hand of the divine rested upon him with favor. He could not be defeated in battle; he could not be outwitted in debate; he could not be outshone at a party. Read more →

1 Samuel 8:4-22

 
A Sermon for Covenant
1 Samuel 8:4-22
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
June 10, 2012
Kyndall Renfro

 

Samuel was the little boy who heard God’s voice calling to him in the night, the son of Hannah who took over Eli’s job in the temple because Eli’s own sons were corrupt and unfit for the task. But by the time you get to today’s text, the little boy has grown old. Samuel has his own sons now, and what a disappointment, they are no better than Eli’s. Samuel finds himself in the same place as his predecessor. Slowly aging, almost too old to continue, his own sons are not worthy replacements, and he knows it. The people know it too, and they are starting to get anxious. Who will lead them? Who will help them speak to God? Read more →

Isaiah 6:1-8

 
A Sermon for Covenant
Isaiah 6:1-8
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
Trinity Sunday
June 3, 2012
Kyndall Renfro
 

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’ve just got to tell you what writer Annie Dillard calls us church people. She says we “seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute.” Brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute.

Now, keep in mind, Annie Dillard is a church person herself, so I assume she includes herself in this dismal caricature. She says we don’t “have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke . . . It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares: they should lash us to our pews.” Read more →