Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
‹Robert Herrick›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
24Dec
2004
Fri
01:43
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord

Luke 2:1-20

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I hope you are all comfortable in your pews. On a night like this, I would offer hot cocoa and cookies, but that wouldn't be appropriate in this setting. I realize the bench-like construction may make them a little uncomfortable, so try to get as comfortable as possible. Honestly, I want you to be comfortable because I'm going to tell you A Christmas Story.

5Dec
2004
Sun
02:16
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Second Sunday in Advent

Matthew 3:1-12, Isaiah 11:1-10

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Once again, it seems we are presented with a lesson that is suited for some other time. Here we are in Advent, preparing for the "coming to us" of the King, as the word advent means. What we get is a filthy man dressed in dingy clothing telling us to "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

7Nov
2004
Sun
02:09
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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All Saints' Day (observed)

Matthew 5:1-12

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
As Jacob with travel was weary one day, / At night on a stone for a pillow he lay; / He saw in a vision a ladder so high / That its foot was on earth and its top in the sky.
This ladder is long, it is strong and well-made, / Has stood hundreds of years and is not yet decayed; / Many millions have climbed it and reached Sion's hill, / And thousands by faith are climbing it still.

Welcome, friends and family, to one of the happiest days in the church year. Today is the day when we recall the blessedness of those who have trod the path of faith before us. Today is the day when we get a glimpse into the magnitude of the Church, its size and the greatness of her glory. Today is All Saints' Day, a day to gaze upon the effects of Christ work, as He died and rose again, establishing the Church, His Bride, and granting entrance into her for many millions upon millions of saints.

31Oct
2004
Sun
01:37
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Reformation

John 8:31-36

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Imagine being in a jail cell or in the depths of a dungeon. You're locked in, locked up, put away...you're removed from society. The reason doesn't matter. What matters is that you're behind bars. Thick walls surround you on all sides. There is no hope for escape. At least, there is no hope in yourself for escape.

10Oct
2004
Sun
01:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 16:19-31

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," Jesus says in St. Luke's 18th chapter. These words probably ring clear after listening to today's parable. By today's standards of social justice and the social gospel of American civil religion, we feel hate and anger toward the rich man for his neglect and contempt toward Lazarus, because he is rich and we are not. And we feel pity toward the downtrodden Lazarus, because he has nothing but sores and is in need of any and all help he can get. It is only fitting, by our logic, that "[t]he time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side," or heaven, and "[t]he rich man also died and was buried" and went to hell.

12Sep
2004
Sun
01:22
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 14:1, 7-14

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Fellow redeemed of Christ, here is a topic of much importance to the Church. Jesus speaks of taking places of honor at a wedding feast. In his own way, He relates this to the Great Wedding Feast—the Feast of Victory of the Lamb. So, when Jesus speaks of a wedding feast, we have no option but to look at the Foretaste of the Feast to Come that He has given us to do in remembrance of Him. It is a matter of much importance to the Church because it is in this feast that her members find their Life in Christ.

8Aug
2004
Sun
01:10
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 11:1-13

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If there is one thing St. Luke tries to teach Theophilus, and by extension us, it is the importance of prayer. From the prayers of praise and thanksgiving from Mary, Zechariah, and Simeon in his first two chapters, to the stress he makes that Jesus was Himself a man of prayer who sought His Father's aid during significant times in His ministry (check out chapters 3, 6, 9, and 22, among others), St. Luke's Gospel is filled with prayer.

4Jul
2004
Sun
01:05
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 9:18-24

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Who do you want Jesus to be?... That is what He's asking, is it not? "Who do the crowds say I am?" Who do you say He is? What do you want Him to be? What do you expect from Him? What is He supposed to do for you?

20Jun
2004
Sun
00:49
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Third Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 7:11-17

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
O Lord, how shall I meet Thee / How welcome Thee aright? / Thy people long to greet Thee, / My Hope, my heart's Delight! / O kindle, Lord, most holy, / Thy lamp within my breast / To do in spirit lowly / All that may please Thee best.1

It is fitting, given this Gospel lesson, that we had a funeral this past week [in Marion]. The scene Tuesday was perhaps much like the scene in Nain. There were mourners—saddened by the loss—following the body to the cemetery. In Nain, however, the scene was different. Other than the obvious lack of automotive transportation and other signs of ancient times, Jesus shows up in His person in Nain and raises the dead back to life.

9May
2004
Sun
00:26
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Fifth Sunday of Easter

John 13:31-35

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What is love?

Search the Bible cover to cover and you are bound to find one mention of it or another. But, just what is it? Some liken it to a romantic notion: two people get married because they are in love. Love is supposed to conquer all; some find that offensive because love is not a conqueror, but the end of all means. Then, of course, there is that line from that classic movie, Love Story: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

4Jan
2004
Sun
00:07
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Second Sunday after Christmas

John 1:1-18

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then you shall erect the tabernacle according to the plan for it that you were shown on the mountain. And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen...And you shall hang it...and bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy. You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place. You shall make a screen for the entrance of the tent, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, embroidered with needlework.