Sermons

How to Use a Kerosene Lamp

 

“How to Use a Kerosene Lamp”
Matthew 25:1-13
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
November 9, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

How To Use a Kerosene Lamp:

Step 1: Be sure the wick fits snugly in the burner sleeve.
Step 2:Trim the top of the wick with sharp, heavy scissors so it is even with the top of the burner sleeve. (Snip off loose threads and cut off the corners of flat wicks evenly.)
Step 3: Fill the lamp font to no more than seven-eighths capacity. Read more →

The Great Tribulation, the Slaughtered Lamb, and the Communion of Saints

 

“The Great Tribulation, the Slaughtered Lamb, and the Communion of Saints”
Revelation 7:9-17
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
All Saints Day
November 2, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

I’ve been thinking about this heaven scene from Revelation and I hate to go old-school Baptist preacher on you, but I want to make three points about this passage. Not points, really. More like observations. I want to make observations, and it just so happens, there are three of them.

Observation #1: This lovely vision of John’s depicts the end of suffering. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more hunger, no more thirst. The sun and the scorching heat will no longer strike them; the Lamb will lead them to springs of the water of life. It is a beautiful picture of hope, but for who? Read more →

The Heart of Discontent

 

“The Heart of Discontent”
Philippians 4:11-13
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
October 26, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

As you know, I have some contemplative leanings. I enjoy silence, solitude, and stillness. I resonate with Centering Prayer, mindful breathing, and wordless communication with God. I’m a little envious of Quakers and Buddhists.

But despite all that, it is often not very serene in the inner life of Kyndall. When Paul says he has learned the secret of being content in all things, I feel as if I don’t have a freaking clue what he’s talking about. I’ve been given no such secrets and consequently it is a raging mess inside of me most of the time. I am a swirling, turbulent river rapids with desires and questions and tensions all tumbling over one another. My soul rides this little raft, trying to stay upright, trying not to drown. Read more →

Highs and Lows

 

“Highs and Lows”
Philippians 4:4-8
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
October 19, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Recently a friend of mine said that suffering and joy exist on the same continuum, that to the extent you shut out your suffering, you also shut out your joy.

This is a lousy arrangement if you ask me. I’d rather not watch any more of my friends suffer. I’d rather not feel my pain, rather not see the human meanness and the senseless misfortune that exist. But for those who have suffered immensely and come out on the other side, you know how it is, that suffering and loss can deepen all human experience, that enduring the hurt inexplicably opens new wonders. Read more →

The Fear of Resurrection

 

“The Fear of Resurrection”
Philippians 3:2-16
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
October 12, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

“Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh!” Paul sounds so dramatic, but it is because he feels protective. He wants the church to stay intact, but there are meddlers afoot, out to convince the people that not everyone belongs. These meddlers are preaching that some folks don’t have it quite right, and in order to belong, they must first get circumcised—or they must eat kosher or they must quit smoking, or they must get their act together, or they must wear their hair in tighter buns. That is to say, these “evil workers,” as Paul calls them, want to draw lines in the sand. They want to say who gets to be in and who gets to be out, and if someone who is out wants to get in, here are the requirements. Read more →

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.)