Audio of Recent Sermons

January 20, 2019 – The Second after Epiphany
– The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“It has been said of Mary that she is the first and greatest theologian of the church.  And we heard her only treatise, her masterpiece of theological thought this morning, when she points to Jesus and says to the servants, “Do everything that he tells you.””

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January 13, 2019 – The First after Epiphany – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“In our own baptism we are grafted into the living body of Christ.  We are marked as Christ’s own forever.  The fire of God’s grace ignites in us, and spiritual life and sustenance is kindled within us.  This is all the mighty of God in Christ Jesus.  It is not something we accomplish.  Even our own repentance, then, when we fail, when we harm others, when we sin, our repentance is enabled and empowered, and ensured by the Holy Spirit acting in us.”

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January 6, 2019 – The Epiphany of our Lord – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“God has offered us everything; given us every good gift, including and especially God’s very presence, incarnate in the body of Christ.  All we must do is be swept up, like the Magi were swept up, in the glory and majesty, and the incomprehensible goodness of God, that leads us invariably to offering ourselves, our souls and our bodies back to God in an offering of praise and thanksgiving.  Gift and return.  Emptying and being filled back up again.  Grace and gratitude.  Selfless love that begets more love, and ultimately overcomes fear and hate.  This is the pattern of creation as God made it, from the very beginning.”

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December 24, 2018 -The Nativity of Our Lord
– The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“Jesus was born to love you.  And because Jesus was born, you are destined for love, and not despair; you are gifted with grace, not judgement; life, not death.  Because God became a child, your spiritual destiny is not to grow old, but to grow young.  The baby in a manger in Bethlehem is an invitation to a new way of being, of becoming childlike again.”

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December 2, 2018 – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“Here is the great truth that waits for us in Advent. It is the realization, on the deepest level, that it is not about what we do.  No matter how hard we work for the perfect Christmas, or how much stuff we buy, it is not what we do that makes Christmas matter.  And, no matter how hard we strive for a better world, we cannot achieve a better world by our own strife.  Advent is about the fact that we are not enough, but that God is more than enough; that God is more than we could ask or imagine.  There is so much relief in this truth; so much grace, and peace, and real joy.”

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November 25, 2018 – Mr. Jeremiah Mustered

[readings from Scripture]

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November 11, 2018 – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“So while we recognize the vulnerable position in society of these widows in our story, we also have to admire their strength, determination, generosity and faithfulness to God despite their circumstance…One of the themes of the Scriptures, one of the principles of the Kingdom of God that we learn about and see played out time and again in the Gospel is that God uses the vulnerable to do mighty things; that God always lifts up the lowly.

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November 4, 2018 – The Sunday after All Saints – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“The Christian response to a culture of death, then, is to not flinch away from it.  To not hide from it, or pretend that it isn’t real, but at the same to hold within our hearts, as the central guiding principle of our lives, a core hope and trust that God’s love overcomes death. That God has not abandoned us to the Pit.  That God will redeem, and renew, and restore all things.  That even now, despite appearances to the contrary God is making all things new.” 

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October 14, 2018 – Year B, Proper 23 – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“But over and over, we and the disciples are reminded that the Kingdom of God does not work the way we think it should.  We are reminded that we cannot own the Kingdom of God, it is not a commodity to possess, or an asset to control.  Unlike the world’s economies, governments, or technological advancements, the kingdom of God cannot be analyzed, taken apart, fixed, hacked, or bought into.  And if the wealthy, righteous, law observant man can’t get in, who can?”

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October 7, 2018 – The Feast of St. Faith (Proper 22) – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“Jesus became lower than the angels, that is Jesus en-fleshed himself and became human.  The glory of his godliness was replaced by suffering and death, that he might taste death on behalf of us all.  It was fitting, that Jesus did this, and not an angel, because Jesus is the one through whom all things came into being, and through who all things exist, and so only Jesus could meet humanity it is suffering and its sin, join humanity its predicament, and transform that very humanity through his life, death, and resurrection.  God answers human suffering & mortality by joining into it with us.” 

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May 20, 2018 – The Feast of Pentecost – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“Like the first apostles, we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach the Good News of Jesus—the message of God’s self-sacrificing, invincible, unimaginable love for all of us.  We are called and empowered to show the world a different way, a way marked by love, justice, and peace.”

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April 22, 2018 – The 4th Sunday of Easter – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“The life of the Good Shepherd a life of tenacity, grit, and staying power.  When hired hands run away in the face of danger, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, stays, and lays down his life for his sheep.  In his death, Jesus’ disciples were tempted to believe that he had finally and completely abandoned them, but that was not the case.  Death could separate Jesus from his sheep.  Jesus is the ultimate example of a shepherd who tenaciously loves his sheep to the end, and beyond.  And because, Jesus the Tenacious Shepherd remains with through good and bad, we are empowered and commanded to abide with him.  We are the sheep, and our task is to abide with our shepherd.”

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April 1, 2018 – Easter Morning – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“So, sisters and brothers, let us first experience the Risen Lord in our hearts.  Let us meet Him at this font.  Let us meet Him at that table.  Let us walk through the door! Christ is risen from dead.  Trampling down death by death and to those in the tombs bestowing life.  Alleluia!  Alleluia!”

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March 25, 2018 – Palm Sunday – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“Jesus, the Creator and ruler of the universe, the almighty God, was showing us how to truly be king, how to truly lead, and exercise authority: through self-sacrifice, and invincible love.  Through becoming a servant for the sake of your friends.  Through loving your enemies.  Through costly non-violence rather than the use of weapons, weapons that are exposed to be cheap and weak.  On the cross Jesus Christ faced down violence, and oppression and hatred and sin, and he scoffed at them.  And this is not the end of the story.”  

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February 18, 2018 – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“This is the purpose of Lent, to return us back to our baptism, back to the promises we made or were made for us: to continue in the apostle’s teaching, to resist evil, to proclaim the Good news, to seek and serve Christ in everyone, and to strive for justice and peace.  We are ever called to return, but when we return, we too are driven out into the wilderness.”

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February 4, 2018 – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“You’ll remember that at the beginning of the book, Jesus is roaming around Galilee with this message: The Kingdom of God has come near.  The kingdom of God has begun, on earth, in a backwater region of the Roman Empire, 2000 years ago.  Jesus started something.  In his ministry in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is actively spreading the Kingdom of God.  That’s the point of our Gospel reading: he is confronting the powers of evil, and driving them away.  He comes along side illness and disease and heals them, restoring health and wholeness.  He gives strength to the weak, and hope to the powerless.  That’s the kingdom of God.”

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January 21, 2018 – The Rev. James Stambaugh

[readings from Scripture]

“Let us continue to take this risk together.  To be tangled up together in the love and mercy and grace of God that is, even now, transforming the world in ways that we do not expect, and cannot imagine.  And let us go out into this community and share the good news of God’s kingdom with our neighbors and friends.  There are hurting people, lonely people, people who are not enmeshed in a community of love and support.  There are people whose peace is shattered…They need the love of Christ that transforms hearts.  They need to know about the unbreakable mercy of God that will never abandon them, even in death.  They need to see a glimpse of the possibilities of the God’s kingdom, and they need to see it in us.”