See Rock City

See Rock City

Preached on the occasion of arriving in a new charge. Those who are accustomed to reading books older than they are will recognize the inspiration of John Bunyan.

 Philippians 3:10-14 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Pressing towards the Goal. Continue reading “See Rock City”

Genesis 50 and the Reason for Church

Genesis 50 and the Reason for Church

The account from Genesis of Joseph forgiving his brothers. ..it’s just another one of those “everybody hug” moments. Yes, I am happy for the brothers who have no need to go through the rest of their lives in perpetual fear that one day their sins will bring a horrible price. But, I am happiest for Joseph He has his family back. Joseph’s last years will be Continue reading “Genesis 50 and the Reason for Church”

Please, Stay in the Text

Please, Stay in the Text

Here in South Carolina there are four seminaries that account for just shy of 100% of our pastors. Two seminaries make up the greater part of that number. Each seminary has an accent. Within the first minute of a sermon I can usually determine which seminary produced that preacher. But, a homiletic malfeasance seems so increasingly prevalent regardless of divinity school affiliation that I am wondering if I have become too sensitive, or if somebody is actually teaching this. The method involves finding a point on which the text is silent, imagining what could fill that silence, and then preaching from one’s imagination.

Two high profile cases: Continue reading “Please, Stay in the Text”

Behold, Your Family!Proper 19C

Behold, Your Family!Proper 19C

Luke 15:1-32           Rev. Keith Sweat

The title and closing of this message are inspired directly by a rhetorical device found in, At Noon on Friday: Lenten Series on the Seven Last Words, Richard C. Hoefler, C S S Publishing Company, Jan 1, 1983

 Those of us on the inside—those of us who spend a lot of time hanging around churches—know these stories as The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and The Prodigal So.    We have analyzed them one-by-one, dissected them, and as a result we’ve learned a lot together over the years about sheep, ancient coins, and first century rabbinical inheritance laws. The first audience didn’t have to pull out reference books to know what Jesus meant. With each Continue reading “Behold, Your Family!Proper 19C”

Homily For All Saints

Homily For All Saints

Jesus is not declaring the natural state of the world in these Beatitudes. He is addressing a crowd of people who have been following him; who desire to hear some word from him concerning the Kingdom of Heaven and how to come to grips with this fallen and unnatural world. These words are not for everybody.

There is much in Scripture that is not for everybody. The Bible does not spend a lot of time telling non-believers how to live. That is reserved for people of the covenant. There was a Continue reading “Homily For All Saints”