Hope Springs Eternal

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By Alan Bentrup
Stories of hope in the Church (and some sermons along the way).
Stand With Christ, Stand With Others (A Sermon for Proper 7B)
We stood with one another when we faced a storm 10 months ago. And we are called every day to​ stand with each other in all the other storms we face in our lives. But that’s the easy part. We’re also called to stand with those that aren’t in this room right now. Jesus and his disciples were going to the other side of the lake when all this happened. They were going to the people that weren’t part of their tribe. They were going to the people on the margins.
June 24, 2018
Reckless Love of God (A Sermon for Trinity Sunday)
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still You give Yourself away Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
May 27, 2018
This is Our Altar Call (A Sermon for Easter 7B)
In First John, and throughout the Gospel of John, eternal life doesn’t just mean life beyond the grave. Eternal life isn’t just talking about what happens after we die, but instead it is about how we live now - before we die - once we put our faith in Christ. Eternal life is full life, everlasting life, changed life, now and in the world to come.
May 13, 2018
Bentrup, Germany (A Sermon for Easter 6B)
This is the faith that overcomes the world: God’s love brings healing out of brokenness. God’s love brings light out of darkness. God’s love brings day out of night. God’s love brings life out of death.
May 6, 2018
Plenty of Work for Love to Do (A Sermon for Easter 5B)
We live in a world that is broken, there’s no doubt about that. But that same world is precious to God, is loved by God, and is filled with a great many people called to live out God’s love. Because love is from God. And there is plenty of work for love to do.
April 29, 2018
You’re Children of God, Now Act Like It! (A Sermon for Easter 3B)
You are God’s own beloved child. Become what you already are. Live into your new identity. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are! Now, act like it!
April 15, 2018
God is (Revealing, Healing, Purifying) Light (A Sermon for Easter 2B)
God is light. And walking in that light, being people of that light, will begin to change us. Because the light reveals, heals, and purifies.
April 8, 2018
Nobody Ever Gets to Stay (A Sermon for for the Feast of the Resurrection - 2018)
You can’t stay here, because nobody ever gets to stay. So go out and share your story, share THE story. Shout it into the darkness. Cry out into the emptiness. Tell the world that you have experienced the risen Lord… and he is alive and he has transformed your life… and he is still making all things new. Nobody ever gets to stay. So go.
April 1, 2018
Nobody Dies Alone (A Sermon for Lent 5B)
I suspect the Greeks in today’s gospel didn’t go expecting to talk about death when they showed up to worship. They just wanted to see Jesus. But Jesus talked about death. A lot.
March 18, 2018
The Hardest Commandment (A Sermon for Lent 3B)
Sabbath is taking time for God. It's more than not going to work, not working at home, not sitting at the computer, not working around the house—it's reminding ourselves of God's central place in our lives and being grateful. It’s also reminding ourselves that we aren’t the center of the universe and that work can go on without us.
March 4, 2018
Luke, Jesus, and the Hebrew Bible
A Lenten presentation for St. Stephen's in Huntsville, Texas, looking at how Luke connects the story of Jesus with the story of Israel.
March 1, 2018
Resurrection Over Survival (A Sermon for Lent 2B)
The way of Christ, self-denial, reminds us that our life is not our own. It belongs to God. It reminds us that we are not in control, God is. Our life is not about us. It is about God There is great freedom in knowing these things. We are free to be fully alive. Through self denial our falling down becomes rising up. Losing i​s​ saving. Death ​is ​resurrection.
February 25, 2018
Transforming the Ordinary (A Sermon for Epiphany 3B)
Casting and mending are realities of life. They are also the circumstances in which Jesus comes to us, the context in which we hear the call to new life, and the place where we are changed and the ordinary is transformed.
January 21, 2018
Beloved Children of God (A Sermon for Epiphany 1B, 2018)
Take a moment to remember the last baptism you witnessed. Perhaps you can recall the proud parents and godparents, dressed in their Sunday best, standing around the baptismal font. In their arms they hold their young, freshly-bathed child, hoping that she won’t create a fuss. Before them stands the minister or priest, neatly dressed in suit and tie, or robe, or colorful vestments. The font stands ready. The congregation looks on with curiosity and pleasure, wondering how the child will respond to what is about to happen. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene. It is a family occasion, a beautiful moment that will long be remembered.
January 7, 2018
Just The Beginning (A Sermon for Advent 2A - 2018)
Matthew begins with a genealogy linking Jesus back to Abraham. Luke begins with a short address about his research methodology. John begins with a mysterious poem about creation. But Mark just hits the ground running and never looks back. “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
December 10, 2017
Join the Team (A Sermon for All Saint’s Day)
Baseball has the power to unite us across differences that are so often used to divide. That sounds an awful lot like the Christian faith to me, doesn’t it?
November 5, 2017
Practice Loving Your Neighbor (A Sermon for Proper 25A)
So why should we read Leviticus? I believe that underneath all the rules about sacrifice and purity, all the strange regulations about food and clothes, there is a vision of holiness and harmony with God that is life-giving and has the potential to speak a healing word to our fractured and alienated condition.
October 29, 2017
Minted in Christ (A Sermon for Proper 24A)
God’s motive was freedom from bondage and a new opportunity to rebuild the community. Cyrus’ motive was expanding his territory by military might and increasing the kingdom over which he reigned. How could God rely on someone like that to further God’s intention?
October 22, 2017
Turn and Live (A Sermon for Proper 21A)
Turn and Live (A Sermon for Proper 21A) by Alan Bentrup
September 30, 2017
Generosity Over Jealousy (A Sermon for Proper 20A)
We all know somebody who never earned nor deserved what they got, right? They didn’t really deserve that job, promotion, raise, recognition, happiness, or success. We worked longer or tried harder, but that didn’t make any difference. More often than not, we view the world, ourselves, and others through the lens of fairness rather than grace. We view ourselves in comparison to others. That’s the exact opposite of how God views the world.
September 24, 2017
How Often Should I Forgive? (A Sermon for Proper 19A)
Forgiveness, for Jesus, is not a quantifiable event. It is a quality; a way of being, a way of living, a way of loving, a way of relating, a way of thinking and seeing. It is nothing less than the way of Christ.
September 17, 2017
Look to the Rock That Will Last
A sermon for Proper 16A August 27, 2017
August 27, 2017
Mary, Moana, and the Gospel (A Sermon for St. Mary's Day 2017)
Mary, Moana, and the Gospel (A Sermon for St. Mary's Day 2017)
August 20, 2017
Transformed for a Purpose (A Sermon for the Feast of the Transfiguration)
“Is it real?” That’s one of my boys’ favorite questions. When they encounter something new or different that is what they want to know. Reality for them is something that can be seen, tasted, touched, smelled, and heard. Reality was determined by, and limited to, the five physical senses.
August 5, 2017
Be Transformed - A Sermon for VBS Sunday
Be Transformed - A Sermon for VBS Sunday by Alan Bentrup
July 23, 2017
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