Sermons

Forgiveness is a Process

 

“Forgiveness Is a Process”
Matthew 18:21-22
Covenant Baptist Church
February 22, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

Christ essentially makes forgiveness nonnegotiable. Peter wants to know, when can I get out of this? But it’s not like Peter is a forgiveness wimp. He’s willing to forgive seven times, which is more than many of us might manage. But eventually he feels there’s got to be a cut off. No one’s got enough stamina to keep this up forever, he feels. “How far?” he asks. “How long?” Jesus says, “This isn’t a 5k. It’s a marathon. When you think you can’t go another mile, you must go yet another mile, and then another.” Read more →

Ash Wednesday Homily

A Lenten Homily
Isaiah 58:1-12
Covenant Baptist Church
Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

Every year on Ash Wednesday, the church says, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

The poet Mary Oliver says this, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”[1] which is essentially the same sentiment. Ash Wednesday is the day we look at our fleeting lives and are humbled by their brevity. Then we take stock. We make an honest inventory of who we are and how we’ve been spending our days. Just how do we want to live our remaining days, and will we begin today or wait another year or so to start? Read more →

God Shines Through Jesus

 

“God Shines Through Jesus”
Mark 9:1-9; 2 Corinthians 4:6
Covenant Baptist Church
February 15, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus

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

“For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Cor. 4:6

I love the Transfiguration because I love the idea of people glowing. I guess I don’t find it that hard to believe because I’ve seen people in love and I’ve seen people holding newborns and I’ve seen people experience forgiveness and so a shining face makes sense to me. Just a few extra doses of God’s presence, and of course a person could downright glow.

I love Transfiguration Sunday because I think this is the moment we are supposed to get it, that Jesus is God. We may have been distracted before but now is the time to open our eyes. We have been in the dark before, but this is the moment the light comes on. God puts it this way: “This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.” Read more →

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 →