Sermon for June 20, 1999
Gay Pride Weekend, Father's Day
are the Scripture readings as scheduled in the "Revised Common
Lectionary," an ecumenical schedule of readings of Holy Scripture. Our
sermons are based on these readings.
Proper 7 (12), Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, (Year A)
21:8 The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day
that Isaac was weaned. 21:9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom
she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. 21:10 So she said to
Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this
slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac." 21:11 The matter
was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. 21:12 But God said to
Abraham, "Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your
slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through
Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. 21:13 As for the son of the slave
woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring."
21:14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water,
and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and
sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the
bushes. 21:16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the
distance of a bowshot; for she said, "Do not let me look on the death of
the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.
21:17 And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar
from heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid;
for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 21:18 Come, lift up the boy
and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him."
21:19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and
filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink. 21:20 God was with the
boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the
bow. 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for
him from the land of Egypt. This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.
This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.
Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17
Proper 7 (12), (Year A)
86:1 Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 86:2
Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 86:3 be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day
long. 86:4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my
soul. 86:5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love
to all who call on you. 86:6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my cry
of supplication. 86:7 In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will
answer me. 86:8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there
any works like yours. 86:9 All the nations you have made shall come and bow
down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. 86:10 For you are great
and do wondrous things; you alone are God.
Proper 7 (12), (Fourth Sunday after Pentecost), (Year A)
6:1b Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 6:2 By no means!
How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 6:3 Do you not know that all of
us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 6:4
Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as
Christ was raised form the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might
walk in the newness of life. 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death
like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6:6
We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might
be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 6:7 For whoever has
died is freed from sin. 6:8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we
will also live with him. 6:9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead,
will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 6:10 The death he
died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in
Christ Jesus. .
This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.
Proper 7 (12), Pentecost 4 (Year A)
10:24 "A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master;
10:25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like
the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much
more will they malign those of his household! 10:26 "So have no fear of
them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret
that will not become known. 10:27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the
light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 10:28 Do not
fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can
destroy both soul and body in hell. 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a
penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
10:30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 10:31 So do not be
afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. 10:32 "Everyone
therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my
Father in heaven; 10:33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny
before my Father in heaven. 10:34 "Do not think that I have come to bring
peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 10:35 For I
have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 10:36 and one's foes will be
members of one's own household. 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than
me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not
worthy of me; 10:38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not
worthy of me. 10:39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose
their life for my sake will find it. )
Reader: This is the Gospel of the Lord; Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Benedict, Sermon 180
Pentecost 4A, 1999
This has been a very busy week for all of us with the extra worship services
and the parade celebrating Pride Month. Additionally, today is Fatherís Day and
like Motherís Day it is a painful day for some people. However, we should also
celebrate the growing number of men and women in our community who are in fact
becoming parents and seem to be having a great success rate with their
children. I also want to call our attention to the fact that God, our Heavenly
Father has truly reached into our circumstances and has helped us.
Our movement is thirty years old this month. When we consider our progress over
this very short time, there are many remarkable accomplishments to celebrate.
One thing that truly stands out to me is how God loves and assists everyone in
our community, even those persons who boldly proclaim they do not or cannot
believe in God. It is clear to me that God is showing great compassion on our
people. In spite of all the rhetoric that comes at us from both the Church and
the State, God gives us security and steady progress in the development of our
In Romans 6 we have this promise of security restated; "Do you not know
that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his
death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too
might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death
like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like
his." (Romans 6:3-5)
Resurrection is absolutely guaranteed to every one of us in spite of what we
are hearing from the larger churches. The security factor in this is Godís word
supersedes the opinions of the professing church. The problems that some in the
professing church are having with us amount to issues that must be taken up
with God, not us. We are living and trusting in Godís promises, not the
denominational dogmatics of so many professing churchmen. The arguments we hear
claiming our condemnation are all based on denominational dogmatics, not on
Scriptural Doctrine. We are readily able to show our security in Christ from
the Holy Bible. The words of Jesus guarantee our salvation. This is good enough
for me. I get frustrated with the number of people who continually claim they
are speaking in the "authority" of Christ as they condemn us. What
give them away as liars is they have no conscience that they are using the
Lordís name in vain. The Scriptures clearly say lying is a serious sin, and I
am sure that lying in the name of Jesus and in his so-called
"authority" is very severe.
Todayís Gospel is also appropriate. Jesus assures us that our faith will cause
many to persecute us. Many people are challenged by the fact we have a living
Christian faith in spite of our sexual orientations. For us to exist here and
be doing our ministry is to deeply challenge those who desperately want to
prove we are hated by God, we are an abomination to God.
At least twice a week the 800 line rings with a clergyperson yelling with
scathing words about how God will send us all to Hell. I used to really get
upset and sometimes shout back. I am trying not do that anymore. What matters
now is our faithfulness to Christ. The Gospel today says; "Do not fear
those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can
destroy both body and soul in Hell. We may be persecuted for peopleís lack of
tolerance disguised as the "authority of Christ," and some have even
been killed in our movement, but for me securing my relationship with God is
far more important.
Jesus said: "Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also
will acknowledge before my Father; but whoever denies me before others, I also
will deny before my Father in heaven." (Matt. 10:32-33) Could this be more
clear? It is therefore essential that we continue our witness for Christ to the
world. We must never ever allow our testimony to be silenced by anyone. Many
people do not want to hear our testimony or our song... but our obligation is
to faithfully proclaim Christ in all places and all people. It is a joy to know
we have such a wonderful mission and purpose. Isnít it a joy that we are able
to follow Christ in our own day and in such marvelous way? We are called to
tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: Jesus is Lord,
The Lord empowers us to do His work. We should be standing in awe that our God,
the very One God of the Universe is personally involved in our lives
individually and corporately. So, we invite you to marvel and to praise God
this weekend as Central New York is celebrating the gift of our sexual
orientations. Pray for each other that we will have the courage and the
blessings we need to boldly carry out the work of Jesus Christ.
TOTUS TUUS! Totally Yours, Lord Jesus Christ.
May Almighty God bless all of us, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit, Amen.