Latest sermons by this teacher

The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 16:19-31
17 mins 12 secs
Views: 114
Our culture is consumed with the desire for more. Even as we mentally scold those who have too much, we still want more: More food, more money, more comfort, more security, more time, more vacation… even more information, more entertainment, more friends and more appreciation. These are the cultural waters we swim in, and if we are not intentionally swimming upstream, then our lives are pulled along in the current. In our readings this week we are challenged to swim upstream; to question our places of comfort, trust and security; and to embrace not the fear of insufficiency, but the provision of contentment
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 14:25-33
17 mins 56 secs
Views: 59
What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? What is the cost? Do we get to set boundaries between what parts of our lives and selves we are willing to offer to God and other parts we keep to ourselves? In our Old Testament and Psalm this week, the overwhelming divinity and sovereignty of God is balanced by the profound intimacy of His love and knowledge of us. In our New Testament and Gospel readings we are asked to be willing to give up anything and everything else to be a disciple of Jesus, and to let the ethics and priorities of God shape our own. Living in the presence of God means being open to a life of transformation.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 14:1 & Luke 14:7-14
15 mins 38 secs
Views: 72
This week’s readings begin with an Apocrypha reading from Sirach: “The beginning of human pride is to forsake the Lord; the heart has withdrawn from its Maker.” Then a reading from Hebrews: “Let mutual love continue.” And in Luke, Jesus tells the dinner party guests to stop jostling for seats of status, instead to humble themselves, and tells the dinner party host to stop inviting his equals, but to invite the poor, the lame, and the blind. When we lose sight of who we are in the face of God, we slip into the pettiness of politics with each other; striving and competing to be more important than our neighbors, but when we remember ourselves, we can see all people with the eyes of God.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 12:49-46
10 mins 54 secs
Views: 72
This week’s readings are not for the faint of heart, but are a reminder that following Christ is not fluffy and soft. In Jeremiah, God calls false prophets onto the carpet. In Psalms, God puts false gods on notice. In Hebrews, the author lists the hardships and faith of the heroes of Israel, and calls on the current generation to live up to that standard. In Luke, Jesus speaks of his crucifixion in terms of fire and baptism, and says he came not to bring peace, but division. So we are called to wake up and realize what times we live in, and what we are called to do.
In this week’s Gospel, we are called to live lives of expectation and peace. We rest in the knowledge of God’s love for us, but also are asked to live with our sandals on and our gas tanks full. Life as we know it is not static; neither locally nor cosmically, and what we see here and now is a small part of our whole life. Likewise, this physical Earth is a small part of the spiritual reality around us, and is not our homeland. So what does it look like to live with that type of expectant, hopeful, faith?
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 12:13-21
11 mins 32 secs
Views: 82
In this week’s gospel Jesus warns that our lives are not to be about gathering wealth. Life is so much more than the abundance of possessions. Jesus tell the Parable of the Rich Fool, a man who who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. We are not to devote our lives to the gathering and accumulation of wealth. if money is our master, that means God is not (Matthew 6:24). When God is our master, we are blessed to be a blessing in the lives of others, and we are blessed to build the kingdom of God.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 10:38-42
14 mins 58 secs
Views: 83
This week’s Gospel and Epistle readings are continuations of last week’s readings and are both fascinating. Our Gospel is the story of Martha, Mary, the problem of overwhelming distractions and anxiety, and the solution of singular focus, in contrast to last week’s gospel of being ready to be of service at any time to those in need. It is a Gospel for all who would be disciples of Jesus. In Colossians we read : “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Here also we have Paul’s statement that his sufferings are making up for what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. How do we know when we are called to difficult and sacrificial service for the sake of the Gospel, and when we have stressed and panicked ourselves by trying to give too much? The world proclaims the need for balance, but is sometimes just a way to feel guilty no matter what we do or don't do. Scripture encourages both contemplation and vigorous activity but provides a path of peace through each.
In this week’s gospel reading, Jesus sends out seventy followers to proceed him into towns he intends to visit on his way to Jerusalem. His instructions are the “what not to wear” for missionaries through out the centuries; though we haven’t always followed them. The seventy come back amazed by the power they were given and Jesus reminds them to rejoice in their place in the Kingdom, not in power; even God-given power. It is in humility and vulnerability that we face the wolves and daunting task of bringing the gospel to those who need to hear it. It is the peace of God we bring, when our face is the first version of Christ people meet. And it is in hope, not power, that we rejoice.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 7:11-17
17 mins 28 secs
Views: 73
This week in both our Gospel and our Old Testament readings, we hear of God raising a beloved son from the dead. Both times, the compassion shown is evidence against the modern absurd idea that the death of Jesus was due to some lack of parental love. Both times also, restoring life is seen as clear evidence of divine action and met with relief, rejoicing or fear. How limitless is our God and how compassionate is His hand! As we remember our weakness in the face of His power, do we respond in relief or fear? As instruments of His will, do we reach out in complacency or compassion?
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 16:12-15
15 mins 4 secs
Views: 92
For some, gazing up at the stars make them feel small; for me, considering the glory of God makes me feel small. Our readings this week make it clear: it’s not about us! …And yet, we are invited by God to share in his glory; to have dominion over the works of his hand; and by the Spirit of Truth, be guided into all truth. Come join us this Sunday as we consider and celebrate the glory, the mystery and the truth of the Trinity.