Sermons

Rest

 

“Rest”
Isaiah 40:26-31
Covenant Baptist Church
February 8, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

How do you tell someone, so that it sounds like the truth, that God loves them, likes them, knows them and remembers them? Does it help to tell stories? To say with honesty that you know what forgotten feels like, know the way doubt smells like a sour sponge when you try to pray. You know how weary it can get trying to hold on when you are bewildered by this exile, feel lost in foreign land. Where is God then? Read more →

Bring on the Sunburn

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Bring on the Sunburn”
Jonah 4:1-11
Covenant Baptist Church
February 1, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Understandably, Jonah doesn’t have the best of reputations. First there was the running away, then the man-over-board stunt, and next, the wimpy one-day preacher’s walk through a three-day-wide city. You’d think there had been enough shenanigans with this guy already, but after you get to the happily-ever-after part of the story where nobody dies and everybody gets to live, there is yet another chapter about, you guessed it, Jonah’s bad attitude. He is the only character in the story whose repentance remains ambiguous to the very end. Read more →

What Does It Mean To Repent? (by Larry Davis)

“What Does It Mean To Repent?”
Jonah 3:1-10; Mark 1:14-20
January 25, 2015
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX
Larry E. Davis

What does it mean to “repent?”

Some of you may remember those old time revival meetings, where there might be dramatic emotional displays and excitement. I remember as a youngster accompanying my Grandpa Pullin to revivals and tent meetings around south Texas. He was an uneducated man, a simple carpenter, he couldn’t read music but he could lead congregational singing and the preachers loved him for this. This was my introduction to the old-time ideal of the “sawdust trail.” A lot of that preaching I remember included threats of hell-fire and damnation, “repent or else,” was a common theme. And the people seemed to eat it up. “Believe the bad news, and repent.” And sometimes when we think of repentance, we do think of regret, remorse, sorrow. One of the Hebrew words for “repent” literally means to “sigh,” or “groan.” And so repentance may be accompanied by all kinds of emotion, tears, joy. But is that what repentance really means? Read more →

Belly Prayer

 

“Belly Prayer”
Jonah 2:1-10
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
January 18, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

 

 

An extension of Jonah’s prayer:

Dear God,

It’s me again, and this time it’s a belly prayer. I know I have a lot of heady prayers—the kind where I try to think things through and find new insight. Then there’s the face prayers—these have always been popular among those who pray. It’s the kind of prayer where I put on a pious face. I think righteous thoughts and ask for admirable requests, sorta in hopes God will notice this deep spirituality I have that exceeds those around me, but mostly I pray face prayers to convince myself that I am okay—just look how pure my words! I sometimes have finger prayers—where I’m trying very hard to get a grasp onto something and find what it is in this life I can hold onto. And then there are knees prayers where I am bent down, beggin’.

But today is a belly prayer. This is as raw as it gets, when one prays from the gut. Here the real me is revealed: warts, mistakes, fears, and all. I feel stripped of all else and so I bring my empty hands and my naked heart. It’s all I’ve got, and I hope you’ll take me. I know you’ll take me, which is why I pray. Read more →

Jonah, My True Story

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Jonah, My True Story”
Jonah 1:1-17
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
January 11, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

The general consensus among scholars is that Jonah is a story. Just a story, but not a historically true one. More like a faith fairy tale than a real place on the timeline.

However, I don’t really see how its historicity is relevant. Either way, the story tells us things that are true. If you’ve ever been Jonah, you’ll recognize the story’s accuracy. Without ever physically leaving the land and setting sail, I have been Jonah more than once and have shared his story. Why don’t we just take a ride together and see if this story has ever been true for you?  Read more →

The Epiphany That Shattered Walls

 

“The Epiphany That Shattered Walls”
Matthew 2:1-12
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
January 4, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

“Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?”

They came asking, seeking, searching, following both the signs in the sky and the tug in their hearts.

The powers that be were threatened by this Mystery they sought. They did not want the thing around. They wanted it gone. They did not want this great King, this great Mystery, this great God among them—oh no, they wanted it shut down. “Help us,” begged the powers to the travelers, “Help us destroy it.” The powers coughed. “I mean, we want to worship it too. Lead us there, straight away. You must find it, for we cannot. All the diviners and knowledge-holders together cannot locate the exact whereabouts of this treasure, this person, this babe. But you, you can find it.  For you are wise. Then tell us. Tell us where he is so we can kill . . . we mean, pay homage. Do this for us, oh wise men.” Read more →

The Ever Ancient Mary

 

“The Ever Ancient Mary”
Matthew 1:16-23
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
December 28, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

She is so old her teeth have begun to rattle loose. They say her mind may be going, but she says her mind is coming, always comin’ to her, alive with recollection and remembrance.

She is tracing the deep wrinkles in her hands with the edge of her thumb. She thinks of her well-worn hands in contrast to his baby fresh skin she once held in younger arms. Whatever they may say of her mind, her memories are clear. She pictures his tiny toes, smells his newborn, feels the smoothness of his miniature, pudgy legs. Read more →

Bathsheba Tells Her Story

 

The Four Women of Advent
Advent Four: Bathsheba Tells Her Story
December 21, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

“Tamar, I’m here,” I say gently as I enter her room. She is nonresponsive. I do not wait for an invitation but sit beside her. Her body heaves a sigh; her brow is furrowed in pain; she does not want to look me in the eye.

My feelings toward her are maternal. She grew up with my children, and they all share a father. I’ve never felt anything but affection towards David’s other children. Children deserve to be loved, no matter who their mothers or fathers are.

I’ve spent a lot of time with Tamar through the years, watching out for her when her own mother was busy with the king. Today I feel a stronger bond with her than ever. I want her to know I am here, in spirit as well as body, but I do not know how to bring up what has happened. I sit quietly. She returns silence with silence. Read more →

Remembering Ruth

 

The Four Women of Advent
Advent Three: Remembering Ruth
December 14, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

One could scarcely call it a decision, my choice to head back home. I just get up one day and start walking. The same way the very act of waking up has become involuntarily, this too is unwilled by me. Every night I lay down, hoping for eternal sleep, wishing for nothing but death. And yet, some unseen force pulls me out of bed each day, moves me to prepare my meal, opens my mouth to eat. My body complies independently; my spirit is elsewhere, wrapped up in despair. One day the force tugs at my feet and without forethought or warning, I begin the long lonely trek home. Read more →

Letters to Rahab

 

The Four Women of Advent
Advent Two: Letters to Rahab
December 7, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

 

April 10, 2014

Dear Rahab,

My name is Cassandra. I am 16 years old, and I’m writing you from the Juvenile Detention Center in San Antonio. I been livin’ on the streets two years, ‘til bein’ arrested for theft end of March.

There’s a chaplain here who talks with me. At first she seem alright, but that was before I knew she was the chaplain. I tell her I don’t believe in God, so she might as well leave me alone. She asks me why I don’t believe. “What did God ever do for me?” I tell her. She waits quietly for me to say more. “I’m pissed at God,” I yell, thinking I can shock her. “What kind of God just stand by and let a kid get beat up and used? God never protected me from nothing.” Read more →