Sermons

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 →

The Nightlife of God

 

“The Nightlife of God”
Genesis 28:10-19a
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 20, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

You may have been taught to think of night as the time God turns in and devils come out to play. But what if, when the sun sets, God is only getting started? You may have said your prayers and tucked your activity in for the night, but God, as the Psalmist declares, neither slumbers nor sleeps.

Generally speaking, we imagine a God who keeps company with the light. After all, creation began with those life-stirring words, “Let there be light,” and Christ is known as the light of the world. But in Psalm 121, there is a surprising twist in the language where God is called the shade at your right hand, so that the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. In other words, God is the darkness that covers you and protects you from the glare of day. Many of us have suffered a sunburn, but who has ever been beat up by the moonlight? Yet here in the imagination of the Psalmist, even moon is a threat and God is shade, shadow, blanket, shield. Read more →

Cook Your Own Stew

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Cook Your Own Stew”
Genesis 25:24-34
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 13, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

A psychologist once explained to me that a person with a narcissistic personality disorder is like a bucket with holes. For some reason—life experiences, upbringing, or whatnot—they never learned to plug the holes in their bucket. They are desperately needy for you to fill their bucket with love and attention, then more love and attention, but no matter how much you give—even if you pour your whole self out—it will all drain away and they will be left unsatisfied, maybe even angry at you for failing to fill them.

I’m sorta curious as to whether we all have a touch of narcissism, that is, a hole or two we still haven’t learned to plug. Maybe it’s just me, and you know how to stay perfectly filled, but my heart feels perpetually leaky. No matter how many hugs I get, I still need another one. No matter how many tough-girl boards I nail over cracks, no matter how many clever patches I plaster over pinholes, affection drains out and I want/need more. Read more →

The Art of Faithful Searching (by Megan Grant)

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“The Art of Faithful Searching”
Luke 4:1-13
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
July 6, 2014
Megan Grant

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

His heart was pounding, muscles tight, jaw clenched, and he was waiting for the next plague of questions to pass. As his stomach rolled like a violent wave, his mind flashed back to his baptism.

The day had been cool with the breeze perfectly drying the sweat on his brow. He heard his cousin’s booming voice up ahead and smiled as he drew closer. After waiting his turn, he finally took the plunge into the Jordan River. His head broke the surface of the water, and after praying whatever it was one prayed when baptism of repentance first began, the heavens split, a dove descended, and the very voice of God echoed across the sky: “This is My Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Read more →

Do You Jump When God Says Jump Kill?

 

A Sermon for Covenant
“Do You Jump When God Says Jump Kill?”
Genesis 22:1-14
Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio
June 29, 2014
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

“A teleological suspension of the ethical.”

That’s how Kierkegaard explained the binding of Isaac.

Resolves it nicely, don’t you think? All better!

(Be sure you write that down: “the teleological suspension of the ethical.” You can use it for your daily meditations.)

Kierkegaard was grappling with how God could command something counter to God’s own nature, and how Abraham could even consider following through with it. We know from at least 16 places in Scripture that God was very much against child sacrifice, so how was it, in this one special case, that God could require something so profoundly contradictory to God’s own self?

Never mind that it works out in the end. It is the beginning we find so appalling to our sensibilities and contrary to our theology. How could God ask for such a thing in the first place? Read more →