The great question that has never been answered and which I have not been able to answer despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is "What does a woman want?"
‹Sigmund Freud›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
18Mar
2020
Wed
23:21
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Lent III

Luke 22:31-62

Wednesday of Oculi 2020 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel had spoken against the shepherds of Israel and Judah. These men—prophets, priests, and kings—whom God had set up to lead His people, care for them, feed them with His Word were not seeing to the tasks to which He had sent them. So He declared woe upon them.

Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. (Ezekiel 34:2b-4)
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:1-2)

Because they had done this, God declared that He will be their shepherd. (cf. Ezekiel 34:23; Micah 5:2) In a stable outside the little town of Bethlehem, that Shepherd was born. Conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary, Jesus is God-with-us, the Shepherd promised of old. He is the one who fulfilled the promise made through the prophet Ezekiel:

“For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.” (Ezekiel 34:11-16)
15Mar
2020
Sun
16:13
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Oculi

Luke 11:14-28

Oculi 2020 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The advancements in modern technology and western medicine are terrific gifts from God. What man is able to accomplish and know thanks to the available technology today cannot compare with what man had done and known in the past, though it is hubris to think that things would be where they are now without the work and knowledge of the past. And with regard to modern western medicine, the drugs and treatments for various ailments have turned what once were thought to be death sentences into conditions that can be cured and recovered from in a matter of days in some cases, and certainly treatable and livable in many others. In fact, I would not be surprised to hear of a treatment in the coming months that would alleviate the symptoms of and improve the mortality rate for this new Covid-19 disease—and, in fact, I have heard that work is underway attempting to accomplish just that!

However, these advancements have also increased the doubt and skepticism of those who spend their entire lives living with these luxuries. In fact, it has turned any talk of demons and demon-possession into myth and fantasy. That which was at one time thought to be the work of demons is now, by-and-large, seen as a disease or syndrome that can be cured or treated with a pill or injection. Now, I can grant that a great many conditions so treatable or curable were at one time confused for demon-possession, but I’m also not so naïve as to discount the work of demons masquerading as a medical condition or that demon-possession can also be confused for some sort of medical condition.

4Mar
2020
Wed
23:33
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Lent I

Luke 22:1-6

Mid-week Lent I 2020 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Betray” is the word of the evening.

Three times in St. Luke’s Gospel Jesus predicted his Passion. Twice in the 9th chapter and once in the 18th chapter, Jesus told His disciples that He was going to suffer, die, and rise again. The second prediction doesn’t go into as much detail, but that second time, Luke 9:43-45, Jesus used the “betray.”

But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

“[T]o be delivered into the hands of men…”—betrayed.

Tonight, you heard that betrayal starting to take shape.

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.
16Feb
2020
Sun
17:14
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Sexagesima

Luke 8:4-15

Sexagesima 2020 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The parable of the sower is a pretty familiar text. It’s familiar in the sense that you all know, even without having just heard it moments ago, that a sower scatters seed on his land. In the process, some lands on the road, some on rock, some among thorns, and some on the good farm land. Jesus also explained the parable for His disciples—in this case, probably more than just the 12—and told them what the different places where the seed landed represent.

  • The path is those to whom the Word of God is proclaimed, but that Word is taken away from them so that, having come to faith, they might not be saved.
  • The rock is those to whom the Word of God is proclaimed and receive it in joy at first, but who fall away in the times of temptation because they have no root.
  • The thorns is those to whom the Word of God is proclaimed, but are choked by the anxieties, riches, and pleasures of this life, so they don’t bear the fruit of of faith to maturity.
  • The good farm land is those to whom the Word of God is proclaimed and take it to heart, holding it fast in steadfast endurance.

When Jesus first began explaining this parable, He essentially divided these people into two types. It’s a hard saying, but since Jesus says it, it must be heard and believed. “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’” Those two types? Those who have been given knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom by God, and those who do not know the mysteries.

Let me help you reconcile this.

9Feb
2020
Sun
16:35
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Septuagesima

Matthew 20:1-16

Septuagesima 2020 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Here’s the set up for today’s text. A man asked Jesus, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” After a bit about who or what is good, Jesus told the man to keep the commandments. Then, as if there are some more worthy of being kept than others, the man asked Jesus which commandments should be kept. (cf. Matthew 19:16-18)

Could you imagine asking such a question? I suppose not, given the tone of my question, but it shouldn’t be so surprising. Man has been looking to grade and divide the commandments into those which would be most important and those which are of least importance since God first gave the commandments. For this reason, James wrote, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” (James 2:10)

Anyway, Jesus, ever gentle with once such as this, replied with the second table of the Law, those commandments which govern your interaction with each other. That’s not too difficult an ask, at least outwardly—some commandments might likely be easier to keep outwardly than others, and differently so from person to person. Still, this young man answered Jesus that he had kept all of those, but he knew he still lacked something. So, Jesus replied, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” At this, the young man went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (cf. Matthew 19:18-22)

Then, Jesus turned to His disciples and told them, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” This distressed the disciples a little. They wondered if anyone could be saved, then. Again, Jesus replied, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” So, Peter spoke up and boasted for the others, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” (cf. Matthew 19:23-27)

12Jan
2020
Sun
15:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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The Baptism of Our Lord

Matthew 3:13-17; Joshua 3:1-3, 7-8, 13-17

The Baptism of Our Lord 2020 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

You probably know the story well enough. You heard part of it this morning. And while it is certainly not as grand a story as the parting and crossing of the Red Sea, it has similar elements, and there is similar typology involved. This is how Joshua led the people of Israel through the Jordan and into the Promised Land.

The Children of Israel arrived beyond the Jordan from their 40-year exodus in the wilderness. They camped near the eastern bank of the River Jordan, north of the Dead or Salt Sea at a place that came to be called Bethabara, or “Place of Crossing.” When the time had come, God told Joshua to cross the Jordan, to have the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant set foot in the Jordan, and the waters would part so that the whole company could cross over on dry ground. This they did, and the Children of Israel set foot in the Promised Land.

Joshua himself was commanded to have a man from each tribe pick a stone from the riverbed. From these twelve stones a monument was made at the place where they next camped: Gilgal. These had to have been large stones, for they were commanded,

Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, “What do those stones mean to you?” then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever. (Joshua 4:5-7)
And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever. (Joshua 4:20-24)

Furthermore, twelve more stones were placed as a monument in the middle of the river where the Children of Israel crossed.