Latest sermons by this teacher

The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 8:26-39
13 mins 11 secs
Views: 29
Ever have one of those days when everyone around you seems to turn their back on you, ignore you or even worse, act like you don't exist? Well, in our readings for Sunday, God seems to be having one of those days with Israel. God responds to Isaiah's prayer asking for divine deliverance by saying, "I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that was not called by my name. I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices; a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and making offerings on bricks; who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat pig's flesh, and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels; who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you." In other words, where were you Israel when I was ready and waiting for you? But what comes next is very scary for Israel, because God now lets them know how angry he is with them. " These (things that you did) are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all the day. Behold, it is written before me: “I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will indeed repay into their lap both your iniquities and your fathers' iniquities together, says the Lord; because they made offerings on the mountains and insulted me on the hills, I will measure into their lap payment for their former deeds.” So Israel, be prepared because judgment is coming. But, and this is a big but, God also acknowledges that there will be a righteous remnant left that is worth saving. Thus He declares, "As the new wine is found in the cluster, and they say, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,’ so I will do for my servants' sake, and not destroy them all. I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and from Judah possessors of my mountains; my chosen shall possess it, and my servants shall dwell there." This will be a long time coming, but in Jesus we are restored as Abraham's offspring, and heirs according the promise. In Galatians, Paul reminds us, "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus and heirs through hope of His everlasting covenant." Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!
The Rev. Carole Anderson
John 13:31-35
12 mins 28 secs
Views: 29
13:31-35), Jesus says to His disciples, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus calls all of us to love one another, not just with the love that we can give, but the with the love that only Jesus can give. Think about that for a moment, how many of us are willing to sacrifice our lives for people we don’t even know? In 1st John 3:16 John tells us, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” John continues on in vs. 19, “if anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” Our actions show others how much we love God. In fact, I think, we cannot truly love one another without God. Even when we have God, it is difficult for us. We are too self-centered most of the time. John admonishes us in vs. 18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” God knows everything!
The Rev. Carole Anderson
John 20:19-31
12 mins 15 secs
Views: 34
In our gospel for Sunday, John 20:19-31, the women have returned from their trip to the tomb on Sunday filled with excitement at seeing the Lord. Peter and John have also returned home from their trip to the empty tomb. All the disciples, except Thomas, are gathered together in a room with the doors locked, afraid that they are about to become the next victims of the angry Jews. All of a sudden, Jesus is standing there among them. They are expecting to be rebuked or censured because of their behavior on the previous Friday, but Jesus calms them saying, “Peace be with you.” Then, so they do not mistake Him for a ghost, he shows them his hands and side. Jesus was clearly identifying himself to them so that there would be no mistake. Can you imagine the scene? They probably all gathered around Jesus hugging him, touching him, wanting to be close to the Master they have loved and thought they had lost. The disciples are overjoyed at the sight of their Lord. What joy indeed! Again Jesus says, “peace be with you”, which is the normal Hebrew greeting, this time he adds, “as the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Then Jesus breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit." Then He commissions them with these words, "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do no forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Now they are prepared for the rest of the story which will begin in 50 days at Pentecost. The Lord is Risen!
The Rev. Carole Anderson
John 12:1-8:0
13 mins 4 secs
Views: 24
This week, our Gospel (John 12:1-8) continues with Jesus on the road to Jerusalem. It is now six days before the Passover and Jesus and his disciples have come to Bethany to spend time with friends before they reach their final destination. Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus had earlier raised from the dead host a dinner for them in their home. What is interesting here is what we learn about each of these people and how they react to Jesus. Mary is moved out of her devotion and probably thankfulness because of the restoration of her brother to life. She takes a pound of expensive ointment and anoints Jesus' feet and wipes them with her hair. Mary's act of devotion was costly and unusual. Costly because the ointment was very expensive, unusual because respectable women did not unbind their hair in public. Further it showed her humility in that it was a servant's work to attend to the feet of the guests. Clearly Mary is devoted to The Lord. Then we have Judas Iscariot, who we know is about to betray Jesus, His reaction to what Mary has done says volumes about his character. He is angry that they did not take the ointment and sell it so they would have money to give to the poor. But, in reality, it seems that he is not interested in the poor at all. Judas, it seems, is in charge of the moneybag and has been helping himself to what is put in it. So he has only his self interest at heart. There are some commentaries that suggest that this may have been the last straw for Judas. It is here that he makes the decision to betray Jesus for the 30 pieces of silver. Jesus every mindful of what is ahead for all of them says, "Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 13:31-35:0
13 mins 34 secs
Views: 16
This week, we skip ahead several chapters to arrive at our Gospel reading in Luke 13:31-35. So much has happened since Jesus began His journey. He has returned to Galilee, met skepticism in His hometown, healed many on the way to Capernaum, called His first disciples, gathered crowds with His profound teaching, made powerful enemies of the Pharisees, comforted and encouraged his cousin John the Baptist who was about to be executed, sent out his 12 disciples on their first solo mission, fed the 5000, and was transfigured on the mountain where he spoke with Moses and Elijah. It may be that Jesus is responding to the Pharisees’ false warning. Jesus already knows what the plan is and He knows who is in charge. Nevertheless, Jesus is filled with compassion for what He knows is coming upon Jerusalem. So He replies, Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day finish my course. Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.' O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! ' Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 6:27-38
14 mins 40 secs
Views: 46
Last week in the Gospel of Luke, just after choosing the 12 disciples, Jesus began to teach them how to be apostles. In the Gospel for this Sunday we continue on to the second part of this teaching in Luke chapter 6:27-38. Our reading is part of what is called "Luke's sermon on the Plain", which parallels Matthew's Sermon on the Mount. Remember that the Beatitudes go deeper than material poverty and physical hunger, Jesus is telling them --and us-- that we need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be poor in spirit. The verses following the Beatitudes are a point-by-point negative counterpart to the blessings described. But now Jesus' teaching takes a more personal turn as He describes how they --and we-- must love our enemies and not judge others. Here is a sample of what we will hear on Sunday: "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. Love your enemies, and do good and lend, expecting nothing in return." How can we ever measure up to Jesus' standards? Well the answer is we cannot do it without the Holy Spirit. But thanks be to God! He has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Matthew 2:1-12
14 mins 59 secs
Views: 9
This Sunday, we celebrate the epiphany of our Lord. The visit of the magi begins the revelation of the Lord to the gentiles. God shows himself to the gentiles by the revelation of his son to the Magi. Join us as we take a deeper look at the characters of this reading from Matthew 2:1-12. Joseph, Mary's husband whose faith allowed him to act on the messages sent to him in dreams by God, and protected Mary, and the baby Jesus from harm. The Magi, who believed that the star announced the birth of a great ruler, and who upon finding Jesus, are overjoyed and bow in worship. Finally, Herod the Great, who only wants to destroy any competition to his throne, and tries to trick the Magi into revealing the whereabouts of the Baby Jesus. Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 1:39-45
12 mins 54 secs
Views: 3
At last we come to the final Sunday of Advent. Monday and Tuesday this week we will celebrate the birth of Jesus. Our Gospel in Luke gives us a brief picture of the two cousins who have both experienced the power of the Lord in their lives. Elizabeth, who is expecting her own miracle in a few months, runs to meet her cousin and exclaims, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." Mary, the Mother of our Lord replies to Elizabeth's greeting with the wonderful words from our canticle, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in god my Savior; for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant." Two ordinary women bound by blood and the greatness of God. They remind us that nothing in impossible with God. But they also remind us that the power of God changes lives. They were simply ordinary women going about their daily lives when God stepped in and changed them forever. That's what God does for each one of us. This Christmas, as we welcome the Christ child into our hearts again, remember this, Emmanuel, God with us, changes us and the whole world forever.
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Luke 21:25-36
10 mins 43 secs
Views: 2
This Sunday, we celebrate the beginning of our Advent season, literally, "the coming of Christ." It is also the church's new year. As we heard from Rev. Cindy last week, Jesus' death on the cross for sins was his coronation ceremony if you will. It was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel and their Messiah. It was also the end of the temple worship as Israel knew it. God would now dwell with His people and they would be his temple. Our readings reflect God's promise for Israel and us beginning in Jeremiah: Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness." But as usual, the disciples want to know what the signs will be when all these things come to pass. So Jesus takes them aside and tells them what to expect. The bottom line of the message for them -and us- is this: Stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. So as our Advent season begins, let us prepare the way for our King, Jesus, and stay awake or alert because we do not know when He will arrive.
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Mark 10:35-45
11 mins 53 secs
Views: 1
In our Gospel for Sunday, Mark 10:35-45, we read of the request of James and John to Jesus. This passage parallels one from Mark 9:33-37 and both deal with the subject of true greatness and both follow a prediction of Jesus' suffering and death. Clearly these disciples have not been listening during the last weeks of their journey with Jesus. Jesus settles the dispute of who's the greatest by gathering the 12 around him and saying, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." In Mark 10, Jesus replies to James and John's request by saying, "You don't know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with baptism I am baptized with?" They reply, "we can." When the rest of the disciples heard this, they were indignant, so Jesus gathered them again to remind them that true greatness is not about who sits on the right or the left saying, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all."