Unrestrained!

June 10, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

Proper 5, Year B
Mark 3:20-35; 2 Cor. 4:13-5:1

Listen here:

 

Gospel Text:

The crowd came together again, so that Jesus and his disciples could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

The TRUTH Vine

April 29, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

5th Sunday of Easter
John 15:1-8

Listen here:

Gospel Text:

Jesus said to his disciples, ”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

 

Article Citation:

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Wells, “A pastor’s job isn’t to make bad things seem better: If you have to choose between offering false hope and the truth, go with the truth,”Christian Century, April 18, 2018, Website: https://www.christiancentury.org/article/faith-matters/pastors-job-isnt-make-bad-things-seem-better.

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

1st Sunday in Lent
Genesis 9:8-17; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15

Listen here:

Some asked me to share here the specific suggestions I offered in my sermon. This is far from an exhaustive list. Be creative. Do what you can. Baby Steps still move us forward. Moving together with others makes the journey richer. God’s speed…

BABY STEP 1: Be an educated VOTER in 2018 and beyond

Next: Call your elected officials, even if you know they don’t agree with you, and ask them to:

  • Designate funds to CDC for gun violence research.
  • Reinstate the regulation that makes it harder for people with mental illness to purchase a gun.
  • Create gun licensing similar to that for cars – competency tests, clear title transfers, insurance, etc.
  • Limit or Ban the purchase of assault style weapons and magazines by civilians.

If you need motivation:

Aaron Feis, 37, Assistant Football Coach and Security Guard;

He died while using his body to shield students from bullets as the gunman opened fire.

Scott Beigel, 35, Geography Teacher and Cross Country Coach;

He was shot and killed when he unlocked his classroom to allow students to take refuge from the gunman.

Christopher Hixon, 49, Athletic Director, Wrestling Coach & Security Specialist

Hixon came from a military family and served in the U.S. Navy. He was killed while patrolling the school’s campus.

Students:

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14

She wanted to become a lawyer and professional soccer player, and played on the Parkland Soccer Club

Martin Anguiano, 14

His older brother described him as “a very funny kid, outgoing and sometimes really quiet.”

Nicholas Dworet, 17

He was a swimmer, committed to the University of Indianapolis. He dreamed of making the Olympic Swim team.

Jaime Guttenberg, 14

She was a dancer who was described by her father as the “life of the party.”

Luke Hoyer, 15

He was described by his grandparents as a “good kid” who “never got in trouble.”

Cara Loughran, 14 

She was a beach-lover and dancer.

Gina Montalto, 14      

She was a member of the winter guard and the school’s state-champion marching band. “A kind spirit with a keen sense of humor.”

Joaquin Oliver, 17

He was a hip hop and sports lover who became a naturalized American citizen in January 2017, after moving from Venezuela at the age of 3.

Alaina Petty, 14

She was described as “a vibrant and determined young woman, loved by all who knew her. Alaina loved to serve.”

Meadow Pollack, 18

She was the youngest in her family and enjoyed spending time with them. She had planned on attending Lynn University in Boca Raton.

Helena Ramsay, 17

She was described as “a smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person… with a relentless motivation towards her academic studies…”

Alexander Schachter, 14              

He played the trombone and baritone in the Douglas’ marching band. Described as “A sweetheart of a kid!”

Carmen Schentrup, 16                  

She was named one of the National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in the county. She was also a gifted piano student.

Peter Wang, 15

He was a member of the JROTC. He was last seen wearing his uniform and holding the door open so that people could escape. He had planned on celebrating the Chinese New Year with his family.

 

Gospel Text:

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

Sources:

Sean Rossman, ‘We’re children. You guys are the adults’: Shooting survivor, 17, calls out lawmakers, USA Today Network, USA TODAY Published 1:05 p.m. ET Feb. 15, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/02/15/were-children-you-guys-adults-shooting-survivor-17-calls-out-lawmakers/341002002/

Walter Morris, “Students call for change, stricter gun laws in wake of Parkland shooting,” WSVN-TVSunbeam Television Corp, February 16, 2018 https://wsvn.com/news/local/students-call-for-change-stricter-gun-laws-in-wake-of-parkland-shooting/

Jonathan Sperling, “Florida school shooting: These are the 17 victims,” NBC News Website, Feb 17 2018, 9:59 am ET. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/florida-school-shooting-these-are-17-victims-n848706

Goin’ Fishin’

January 21, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

3rd Sunday after Epiphany
Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

Listen here:

 

Gospel Text:

After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.  (Mk 1:14-20)

%d bloggers like this: