Latest sermons by this teacher

The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Mark 7:24-37
16 mins 48 secs
Views: 2
There are some interesting parallels in our readings this week. In our Old Testament reading, Isaiah prophesies about when God will come to save Israel: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy” ~ Isaiah 35:5-6 Then in our Gospel, Jesus heals a man who is deaf and dumb. In our Epistle reading, James warns us against showing favoritism in our congregations and having faith without works. Then in our Gospel, Jesus heals the daughter of a Gentile after an exchange about children and dogs, tables and crumbs. It is the Psalm that seems to gather these thoughts together: human power and human princes fail, but the Lord is faithful forever, and heals, feeds, executes justice, and watches over those in need.
This week, we finish the Bread of Life discourse in the Gospel of John. What began as an impromptu miracle of feeding the crowds of thousands who are relentlessly following Jesus’ every move and want to follow him into battle, ends in an awkward quiet when the words of Jesus move from inspiring to seemingly impossible, and many of those who have been following him turn away. Following Christ is not easy. It is an ongoing active decision. This Sunday, at the first service, we have the privilege of baptizing and welcoming into the family of God three boys who have made this decision. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:67-69
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 6:51-58
13 mins 5 secs
Views: 3
Most of our readings this week advise and exhort us to live in way of insight, in the fear of the Lord, not as unwise people, but as wise. But in our Gospel, Jesus says: Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day. All the encouragement and instructions are worthy and valuable, but as Christians, we do not live only by precepts of wisdom, practices and godly habits, but also by being nourished each week by partaking of the body of Christ, both in Eucharist and by gathering and worshiping together. Each week, we praise God and remember that is not by our efforts that we are saved, but by His sacrifice. It is not our habits that protect us from sin and death, but by His life that we are forgiven and live. And it is not by our emotional maturity that we have unity, but by the blood of Christ that we are reconciled to the Father and one to another. Come join us in worship of the Bread of Life this week.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 6:35 & John 6:41-51
12 mins 31 secs
Views: 2
Crowds have followed Jesus for the signs that He may be the next Moses to lead them to victory. Crowds have pursued Him for the bread that has filled their stomachs and the potential prosperity He represents. But then Jesus begins to say that He is the bread of life, the bread sent by God, the bread of heaven, and that their future, their life, depends on believing that Jesus has seen the Father, is sent from the Father and that “Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.” Jesus is no longer looking like the leading man in a story they know, but is asking them to embrace an entirely new story. He is claiming to have seen God face to face, and asking them to have faith in Him. And it is too much for them: they grumble they complain and begin to fall away. We too are prone to the same tendency: to create a version of God that fits in our minds and in the constraints of our lives, rather than to listen and follow who He reveals himself to be. We can become so comfortable with our image of God, of what kind of God we are willing to follow, and how far we are willing to go, that we try to confine God to be a safe god, a small god, instead of the Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 6:24-35
18 mins 15 secs
Views: 4
This week’s gospel is the aftermath of the feeding of the 5000, a discussion between Jesus and the crowds about motivations, signs, manna, Moses and the Bread of Life. But it also contains this exchange: “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." John 6:28-29 The purpose of God’s work is that we believe in Jesus as sent by God. Our “work” is to believe the Truth of who Jesus is and then, in the words of our epistle this week, “to lead of life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace". Living and worshiping together as one body, using the gifts we are given to build up the body of Christ, is not an extra thing, an optional thing that we add to our already full life, it is the center of our response to God and his gift of eternal life.
This week in our Gospel reading, the disciples return from their first foray into ministry without Jesus accompanying them, and He calls them to a deserted place to rest with Him. Our Old Testament and Psalm are about the Lord as our shepherd - caring, providing and protecting us. In Ephesians we are reminded: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in His flesh He has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” -Ephesians 2:13-14 “In Him the whole structure [the church] is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.” Ephesians 21-22
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Mark 6:14-29
14 mins 28 secs
Views: 3
How do we react to the voice of truth? In our Old Testament reading, Amazia, the priest of Bethel, tries to discredit and send Amos away to go prophesy somewhere else. In or Gospel, Herod hears of Jesus and is afraid; convinced that this is John the Baptist returned from the dead... What do yo do when you've murdered a prophet? When you've silenced a message from God? How can you hear past your guilt and fear to hear the message of salvation and grace? The Word of God is not something we can hold indefinitely, passively. It is spoken for a reason, has its own agenda and purpose and as we are exposed to it, we are changed by it. Just as in New Testament times, God is in our midst, in spirit and in truth and we respond by receiving or rejecting the Word of God.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Mark 4:35-41
15 mins 25 secs
Views: 263
In our Gospel this Sunday, the disciples are in a boat, in the midst of a storm, and afraid they are about to die, they wake up Jesus and resentfully ask “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” It is interesting that they question not His power, but His character, not His ability, but His willingness to help. But when He stands up, speaks once, and the raging sea listens and obeys, Jesus then asks the disciples, “why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” They are overwhelmed by His power and the implications of that power, but it seems Jesus’ question is addressing theirs and could be paraphrased: “do you know me so little that you thought I would let you die?” How often do we fail to ask God for help because we doubt either His power or His character? How much of our life do we live as if we are out of the reach of God’s power and love?
This week we are reminded that the Kingdom of God is like … something out of our control. God is the one who reigns in the kingdom of God. We act, but we don’t control outcomes; we may scatter or sow seed, but it is God who makes the plants grow, sometimes into things that are far beyond our expectation, or in places we don’t expect. As Christians, we surrender ourselves to God, and pursue God above all else, even above our own plans, dreams, reputation, and credibility. Come join us this Sunday to see what God is doing in our midst
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Mark 2:23-3:6
16 mins 5 secs
Views: 293
Sometimes, Sabbath as an ongoing spiritual discipline feels like one more obligation, one more constraint to add to overburdened, over-pressured lives. Especially in Silicon Valley where the concept of Sabbath is completely alien. In our Gospel this week, the disciples gather grains of wheat as they walk through a field, and the Pharisees object. Jesus holds out their misplaced priorities to them by making them choose whether it is right to heal on the Sabbath, and they are even more outraged. The rest of our readings gather around this notion of Sabbath, its history and purpose and its limitations. It is clear that God’s purpose in establishing Sabbath was to lift burdens, and free us from slavery, not impose more bondage. However, are we then free as Christians, to spend our time without constraint and without obligation? Come join us this Sunday as we look at how we are called to live eternal lives, neither slaves to time, nor unaccountable free agents.