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Hope Springs Eternal

Hope Springs Eternal

By Hope Springs Eternal
Sermons from the Rev. Alan D. Bentrup, rector of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Keller, Texas.
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The Unbearable Love of God (A Sermon for Trinity Sunday 2022)
The fullness of God is unbearable. The fullness of God is too big, too beautiful, too wild, to be understood, explained, or contained.
June 13, 2022
Lament & Hope (a sermon for Easter 7C, 2022)
How long, oh Lord! We lament. We yell. We grieve. But we don’t grieve as the world grieves. We don’t grieve as people who have no hope. Even in the midst of weeks like this…. Even in the midst of heartache like this… We hope. We have Easter hope.
May 30, 2022
Love Makes All Things New (a Sermon for Easter 5C, 2022)
God redeems and restores and renews the whole world, through love. And the world will know that we are his disciples, not by the right opinions or positions or allegiances. The world will know that we are Jesus’ disciples by our love. We as Christians don’t stand on issues. We walk with people, in love. And God loves everyone. Even you. And even me.
May 15, 2022
We're Just Getting Started (a Sermon for Easter 2C, 2022)
When we walk in faith and love together, your chips and my cracks and your brokenness come together. When we walk in faith and love together, when our life together is shaped by the cross, we're beautiful.
April 25, 2022
The Story is Just Getting Started (a Sermon for Easter Sunday, 2022)
God is always out ahead of us, making all things new!
April 18, 2022
The Story is Good (A Sermon for Good Friday, 2022)
Today, on Good Friday, the cross stands tall and declares that the story isn’t over if the story isn’t good. Jesus, the perfect, sinless man, today is smashed to pieces with us.
April 16, 2022
The Story Isn’t Over (A Sermon for Maundy Thursday, 2022)
Tonight Jesus washes those chipped and cracked and broken pieces. He’s lovingly preparing these chipped and cracked and broken pieces, because Jesus has something better in store for them. And Jesus is lovingly preparing us, too. Because Jesus has something better in store for us.
April 15, 2022
The Story Is Broken (A Sermon for Palm Sunday, 2022)
I invite you to join us for the triduum, the great three days, as we walk from the upper room to the garden to the cross. You’ll be seeing these bowls again this week. Their brokenness, as a symbol of our brokenness, will be a guide for our Holy Week. I can’t wait to see what God can do with them. And I can’t wait to see what God can do with us. I bet it will be so, so beautiful.
April 10, 2022
Open Our Hands ( A Sermon for Lent 2C, 2022)
With each step Jesus is saying, “don’t be afraid, I am with you.” With each step Jesus is saying, “you can’t do it all, you need each other.” With each step Jesus is saying, “I will heal you, forgive you, and make you whole.” With each step Jesus is saying, “I will pursue you to the very end even to death and beyond.” With each step Jesus is saying, “I love you.” We just need to open our hands, let go of the stones, and hold on to Jesus.
March 15, 2022
I Hate Ash Wednesday
Learning to love, and learning what to love…learning what to hold on to and what to let go of…that’s the real work of Lent. That’s when Lent gets through to me. That’s when I stop doing Lent, and when I start letting Lent do it’s work on me.
March 03, 2022
12 Mighty Orphans ( A Sermon for Epiphany 6C, 2022)
Jesus sees you when you are poor and when you are rich. Jesus sees you when you are hungry and when you are well-Ξlled. Jesus sees you when you are weeping and when you are laughing. Jesus sees you when you are excluded and when you are brought in. Jesus sees you. Even on the days when it is hard to look in the mirror…Jesus sees you. There isn’t anything you can do to change that. Nothing you do can make God love you less, and God won’t ever give up on you. God is with us. God is for us. God loves us. God sees us.
February 13, 2022
God’s Agenda of Love
Jesus has a broad and expansive and abundant vision for his ministry, and the people seem to have a diΛerent, more narrow and scarce vision. They are so caught up in their own agenda they can’t hear, let alone participate in, God’s agenda. What do you think? Does that ever happen in today’s world? In the church? In our own lives?
January 30, 2022
It’s Time (A Sermon for Epiphany 2C 2022)
Will we ask ourselves what Jesus is telling us to do? What is Jesus telling you to do? What is Jesus telling St. Martin’s to do?
January 16, 2022
Where does Jesus meet us in our expectations?
January 10, 2022
Love Became Flesh (A Sermon for Christmas 1, 2021)
“...the Word became Οesh and lived among us.” It did in Jesus. And it did in two Ξshermen from Virginia. It did in the lawn guy with a truck. So, what about you and me?
December 26, 2021
God Is Here! (A Sermon for Christmas Eve, 2021)
That’s why we gather on this night year after year. To hear once again the story of God’s Hope. God’s Peace. God’s Joy. God’s never-ending, never failing, never-ceasing Love. No matter where you are. No matter what you’re feeling. No matter the burden you’re carrying. Listen to what God is saying to you…open your eyes to what God is showing you…through a little boy born this night… I love you any way you feel, no matter what you do. I love you any way you are, I love you because you’re you!
December 25, 2021
The Next Right Thing (a sermon for Advent 3C, 2021)
It is Advent. We’re waiting for the world to change. We’re waiting for our world to change. And that usually starts by us making a change. So go and do the next right thing.
December 12, 2021
Our Kingdoms Fall (A Sermon for Christ The King Sunday, Year B 2021)
If Christ is our king, then we are free to truly see each other… If Christ is our king, then we are free to truly hear each other… If Christ is our king, then we are free to truly love each other.
November 21, 2021
A Failure of Imagination (a sermon for the Feast of St. Martin)
What does the world need St. Martin’s to be? What does God want St. Martin’s to be? We aren’t the St. Martin’s of Ξfty years ago when those six families got together. We aren’t the St. Martin’s of 21 months ago before COVID. We aren’t even the St. Martin’s of four months ago before I moved here. We can’t be limited by the ideas of who we were, or even who we wanted to be, in those times and in those places. Because we are St. Martin’s, now. This time. This place. And we have to open our imaginations to what new thing Jesus might be calling us to be.
November 14, 2021
Walking in Love (A Sermon for Proper 26B - 2021)
We’re called to love when it’s hard. We’re called to love when it might cost us something. We’re called to love when we don’t know how the journey will look. We’re called to love, period.
October 31, 2021
Following the Way (A Sermon for Proper 25B - 2021)
This blind man could see that following the way of Jesus meant risking ridicule by shouting out. This blind man could see that following the way of Jesus meant giving up any thoughts of power. This blind man could see that following the way Jesus meant leaving behind everything he had.
October 24, 2021
Giving Up Stewardship
Jesus is inviting the young man to give up relying on himself and instead become a disciple. To become part of something greater than he can imagine. To become part of something that will change the world. And Jesus is asking us to do the same thing.
October 10, 2021
God Hears Our Voice (a sermon for Proper 21B 2021)
We’re about to baptize two babies. Their parents and Godparents will make some promises, the whole congregation will make some promises, and then these two little babies will be baptized. They didn’t do anything to deserve it, they don’t even yet know what it means. But God knows what it means. It means that they are, today, a child of God. They are, today, a sibling of all of us. And it means they have everything they need to follow Jesus. Sure, they’re going to grow and learn and do great things. But nothing they can learn or do will make them any more a part of God’s family. Nothing they can learn or do will ever make their voice more important to God.
September 27, 2021
Every Step of the Way (a sermon for the Feast of Philander Chase)
Regardless of our career, our call is the same. Sometimes that journey will be scary. Sometimes that journey will be lonely. But we still must go. And like Bishop Chase...we know that Jesus is with us every step of the way.
September 22, 2021
I Wonder... (A Sermon for Proper 19B)
I wonder if this new story can help us redefine our priorities to be more in line with those of Jesus…. I wonder if this new story can help us better see each other as brothers and sisters and siblings in Christ... I wonder if this new story can help us take God more seriously than we take ourselves… Everything we do here, from worship to formation to fellowship to service in the community, the purpose of all of this is to help us learn what it means to be followers of Jesus. I wonder what Jesus is going to teach us next…?
September 15, 2021
The Lord is Near (A Sermon for Proper 16B)
Scripture doesn’t ever really give us an answer to the question of suffering. Scripture is full of stories of bad things happening to the righteous and the unrighteous, however we’d define those groups. Scripture is full of bad things happening to people that love God. We’re not promised a life free of suffering. We’re not promised a life free from heartbreak. But God does promise to draw near.
August 22, 2021
The Bread of Life (A Sermon for Proper 14B, 2021)
When we feast on Jesus, we live differently. When we believe in Jesus, we live differently. When we trust in Jesus, we live differently. When we pattern our lives in the way of Jesus, we live differently.
August 08, 2021
A Worthy Calling (A Sermon for Proper 13B, 2021)
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this reading from Ephesians popped up today. This reading clearly lays out our job descriptions. What we’re called to do. God has called you all to be the people of St. Martin’s. God...through you...has called me to be your rector. God has called us...all of be the body of Christ in this part of the world. And I’m glad that we get to do this together.
August 01, 2021
Follow Jesus (a sermon for Proper 9B 2021)
We need to follow Jesus...who calls us to leave our comfortable pews and serve. We need to follow Jesus...who calls us to tell the world the Good News that conquers death. We need to follow Jesus...who calls us to love our neighbor, even when our neighbor is hard to love. We need to follow Jesus, who calls us to dine with tax collectors, beggars, and sinners. We need to follow Jesus, who calls us to reach out to others across the boundaries of race, color, college football team, and anything other dividing wall we try to throw up.
July 05, 2021
Jesus’ Touch (A Sermon for Proper 8B, 2021)
But, when Jesus touches the unclean thing, the power is reversed. This is the power of Jesus’ touch. To make that which the law declares as unclean to be clean. To take that which the world casts out and bring it back in.
June 27, 2021
Faith and Fear (A Sermon for Proper 7B, 2021)
They didn’t know the whole plan. They just knew the next step Jesus was asking them to take: Get on the boat and cross the border that lies between what you know, where your comfort is, and that which is wholly other to you. Theirs was a response of faith, not fear.
June 20, 2021
More Than You Can See (A Sermon for Proper 6B 2021)
In today’s parable, we’re invited to see how God is always at work in our lives, like a seed scattered upon the earth. As a seed does its seed thing, so the kingdom does its kingdom thing. We may not understand it. Outward appearances may even suggest God is absent. It may look like nothing is happening. We sleep and rise. We wait. We trust. We hope. We pray. We go about the ordinary work of life. Yet within that ordinariness, the life of God has already been planted in each one of us. One day it sprouts. It grows. The invisible becomes visible. The full harvest was always there, hidden in the seeds. It may have been invisible but it was never absent. We now see what has always been.
June 13, 2021
The Family Table (A Sermon for Proper 5B 2021)
It’s alright if the world thinks you’re a little weird, because family even loves the weird ones.
June 06, 2021
For God So Loved... (a sermon for Trinity Sunday 2021)
For God so loves Nicodemus. For God so loves you. For God so loves me. For God so loves the whole world...that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but may have eternal life.
May 30, 2021
Unlock the Doors (A Sermon for Pentecost)
Jesus comes to us - behind any locked doors we try to put in the way- and gives us his peace. Then he gives us his power to do the kinds of things that mere humans can’t do, the kind of things that Jesus was doing. Things like defeating our own selΟshness, loving other people, tending to the sick and suΜering, breaking down walls of division, and reconciling the world.
May 24, 2021
Thresholds (A Sermon for Easter 7B, 2021)
And what if we took our cue from Jesus? What if we came to the thresholds in our life trusting that Jesus Christ is with us. In the joy and in the sorrow. In the hope and in the despair. In the living and in the dying. Jesus is with us...always with the threshold. And we know that Easter is always on the other side.
May 22, 2021
There is Only Us (A sermon for Easter 5B, 2021)
God’s love knows no boundary. God’s love knows no division. God’s love knows no “us” and “them.”
May 02, 2021
The Frightening Message of Easter
What are we willing to risk?
April 18, 2021
The Story Isn’t Over (A Sermon for Maundy Thursday, 2021)
It’s rather like being on the roller coaster of our salvation story: the joyous wine of the banquet mixed with the bitterness of betrayal; the shame and agony of crucifixion answered with the unbelievable promise of life beyond the grave.
April 12, 2021
The Way of Jesus (A Sermon for Lent 2B)
Jesus chose to give in a world that takes. Jesus chose to love in a world that hates. Jesus chose to heal in a world that injures. Jesus chose peace in a world at war. Jesus chose to give life in a world that kills. Jesus offered mercy when others sought vengeance, forgiveness when others condemned, and compassion when others were indifferent.
February 28, 2021
Can Anything Good Come Out Of Nazareth?
At the deepest level our Nazareths are about our understanding of God. We just can’t see how anything good can come out of Nazareth. We cannot believe that God can be present, active, and revealed in Nazareth, whether it be another person, a relationship, a situation, or our own life.
January 17, 2021
Growing Up and Leaving Home
St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church (Columbia, S.C.) Luke 2:31-52
January 03, 2021
God Is Always With Us (A Sermon for Christmas Day, 2020)
Christmas this year has been isolating for many. Maybe it was for you. But the Good News of God in Christ is that the Word has become flesh and dwells among us. The Word isn’t just present in the big fancy church services, or the wonderful family dinners, or the Christmas parties. God is not just with us on the days when our calendars or homes or hearts are full. God is with us in the everyday, mundane, isolated moments. God is with us in the joy and the sorrow. God is with us in the dark and the light. God is with us in death and in life.
December 27, 2020
Risk and Hope (A Sermon for Proper 27A 2020)
What are we willing to risk for the treasure entrusted to us?
November 15, 2020
This World Is Not About Us (A Sermon for Proper 27A 2020)
Sometimes you have to ditch your sermon and just talk about division and reconciliation for 20 minutes...
November 08, 2020
How Often Should I Forgive? (A Sermon for Proper 19A)
How many times must we choose to forgive? Tell me this. How many times have you been hurt and suffered by the actions or words of another? How many times has anger or fear controlled you? How many times has the thought of revenge filled you? How many times have you shuddered at the sight, the name, or the memory of another? How many times have you replayed in your head the argument with another? That’s how many times you choose. “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.”
September 13, 2020
The Yoke of Christ (A Sermon for Proper 9A, 2020)
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,” he says. Let your heart love like Jesus. Let your mind be filled with the same concerns as Jesus. Let your feet walk in step Jesus. Let your hands touch the world like Jesus. Let your eyes see the world like Jesus sees the world. Live a life yoked with Jesus Christ, living and moving and breathing as one, and you will find rest for your soul.
July 05, 2020
Love Triangles (A Sermon for Proper 7A, 2020)
Loving Jesus first doesn’t mean only loving Jesus. We still love our friends, our families, our communities, and ourselves. But when we love those things first, before or without Jesus at the center, that’s idolatry. When our first love is Jesus, we can love our families best. Even and perhaps especially - when that means calling out and working to heal the sin and brokenness we see in our families. When our first love is Jesus, we can love our country and community best. Even - and perhaps especially - when that means calling out and working to heal the sin and brokenness we see in our country and community. When our first love is Jesus, we can love ourselves best. Even - and perhaps especially - when that means calling out and working to heal the sin and brokenness we see in ourselves.
June 22, 2020
Together (a sermon for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, 2020)
We’re in different homes, different cities, different places, with our own gifts and abilities. But we’re together, even when we’re apart. (Preached from my back yard for the good folks of Holy Trinity, Clemson)
May 24, 2020
Listen to him. Get up. Don’t be afraid. (A sermon for Last Epiphany 2020)
What do we do when everything is changing?
February 26, 2020
We’ll leave the light on for you (a sermon for Epiphany 5C)
How are we the light of the world when the power has gone out?
February 10, 2020
Show up, look around, and wait. (A sermon for the Feast of the Presentation).
What can we learn from Simeon?
February 10, 2020
A Life Changing Experience (A Sermon for Epiphany 2A 2020)
We can hear all about him, we can read the stories, we can sing the songs, and we know something about Jesus. But, like the beach, like our favorite bands, like the Holy Land, just learning about it doesn’t suffice. You have to encounter it in real life to truly begin to grasp what is. When we truly encounter Jesus Christ, it changes everything.
January 19, 2020
Children of God (A Sermon for Epiphany 1A 2020)
A week late in posting, but my sermon from January 12, 2020, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Columbia, SC.
January 19, 2020
Jesus, Remember Me (a sermon for the last Sunday after Pentecost, 2019)
We all want to be remembered. It means that we matter, we belong, we exist. When we are remembered, someone else bears witness to all those things. When we are remembered it is as if our life is being put back together, because it is. That is exactly what is happening. We are being made whole.
November 24, 2019
When Temples Fall (a sermon for Proper 28C 2019)
When our temples fall, we discover that God has always been with us – in the changes, chances, and chaos of life; in the pain, loss, and disappointment. Stone by stone, God rebuilds our lives. Stone by stone, God restores the original beauty of our life and world. Stone by stone, a new temple arises from the rubble.
November 17, 2019
Life Is Hard, Do Not Lose Faith (a sermon for Proper 19, 2019)
What did I learn from the night my life changed?
September 15, 2019
God Found Us
A sermon preached at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Columbia, S.C., on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.
September 09, 2019
We Are In This Together (a sermon for Heathwood Haol's Convocation)
Through our highs and our lows, our hopes and our fears, our wins and our losses... We are in this together.
September 04, 2019
There Are No Strangers in Houston Right Now (a sermon for Proper 17C 2019)
As I was riding in the back of Ismael’s truck, with my family safe and on the way to meet friends, I texted my mom and sisters. I joked that we hopped in some guys truck to hitch a ride, and my sister replied back saying “You’re not supposed to take rides from strangers :-)” Here’s what I told her: “Nobody is a stranger in Houston right now. These folks can’t get to their house, but they have a truck so they are helping others.” That is kingdom hospitality. That is the kingdom of God.
September 01, 2019
The Divisive Love of God (a Sermon for Proper 15C)
But this love, God’s love, just as likely to bring us stress and division rather than peace and harmony. And this is Good News.
August 18, 2019
Waiting (A Sermon for Proper 14C 2019)
One reality of life is waiting; waiting for someone to show up, for something to happen, for things to change.
August 18, 2019
Language Matters (A Sermon for Proper 13C, 2019)
This has to stop. And we have to change the way we speak to and about each other.
August 04, 2019
Unity, Not Uniformity (A Sermon for Easter 7C 2019)
John 17:20-26 Jesus prayed for his disciples, and then he said. "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. "Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
June 04, 2019
The Scent of Resurrection
A sermon for Easter 3C, preached at St. Michael & All Angels, Columbia, S.C.
May 05, 2019
We Have Seen the Risen Christ (A Sermon for for the Feast of the Resurrection - 2019)
We Have Seen the Risen Christ (A Sermon for for the Feast of the Resurrection - 2019) All Saints Episcopal Church (Beech Island, SC) John 20:1-18 April 21, 2019 We are called to go from this place and tell the world that pain and sorrow and death and despair will never...can never...have the final say. So go out and share your story. Go out and share the story.
April 21, 2019
Our Time Has Come (a homily for Monday of Holy Week, 2019)
The waiting is almost over.
April 15, 2019
On Earth, As It Is In Heaven (A Sermon for Lent 2C, 2019)
These may seem like abstractions, like pie-in-the-sky theology that will never, ever, in a million years become a reality. And yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, we live each day with the expectation that heaven on earth will come to fruition. And in so doing, we make it more real. We live our heavenly citizenship. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. We pray this daily because we are people of hope.
March 19, 2019
Crossing Boundaries for Love (a sermon for Wednesday in the first week of Lent)
he clearest definition I’ve ever heard for the mission of God is this: Crossing boundaries for love. Bishop Holly did that his whole life. He was a priest and a bishop and a missionary that crossed boundaries, literally and figuratively. That’s why we remember him today. Philip did that, when he listened to the Spirit’s call to to cross a boundary and engage in conversation with the Ethiopian. Lent...and this journey to Good Friday and a reminder that Jesus crossed crossed the ultimate boundary...between heaven and earth...for love. So, I ask you? Where do you see boundaries in your community? In your church? In your own life? And what boundaries are you willing to cross for love?
March 14, 2019
Who Is My Neighbor? (a Lenten series at St. John's Episcopal Church, Winnsboro, SC)
“Who Is My Neighbor ?” is a four-part Lenten Series beginning Sunday, March 10 at 4:00 p.m. sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church, 301 W. Liberty St.,  Winnsboro, SC.  Speakers from the Episcopal, Jewish, Muslim and Greek Orthodox faiths will offer insights and observations about their faith and how love is the starting point for interfaith dialogue. Click here for my initial manuscript (which is never fully what I end up saying...)
March 10, 2019
We Know How This Thing Ends (A sermon for the last Monday after the Epiphany)
When we know the end of the story, it frees us to look at the journey in a new way.
March 04, 2019
Right Here. Right Now. Today (A Sermon for Epiphany 3C, 2019)
Jesus is asking his friends to open their eyes, to see God at work in the world around them, and to look for those ways they might participate in God’s mission. Right here. Right now. Today. In a very real way, the Spirit was upon Jesus. And that same Spirit abides in you, and me, and all of us. Right here. Right now. Today. And by emphasizing the word “today,” Jesus transformed Isaiah's words, Isaiah's prophecy, into a powerful invitation for the whole community to act on behalf of God's dream of justice. Right here. Right now. Today.
January 27, 2019
Timing is Everything (A Sermon for Epiphany 2C)
Timing is everything, and it is time to pray and discern and study the Bible and get to know our neighborhoods, so that we can figure out what particular roles we play in these stories.
January 20, 2019
What Are We Waiting For? ( A Sermon for Advent 1C 2018)
We don’t just need to wait for the Light to come. We need to be the light in the world.
December 03, 2018
Sacrificial. Selfless. Reckless. (A Sermon for Proper 27B - 2018)
To me, this section of Mark isn’t rocket science. It is about how we are supposed to live. About how we are supposed to love. I don’t know if y’all are in your stewardship season or not, but it’s also about how we’re supposed to give. But above all, it is about how we are supposed to respond to God and relate to one another. Sacrificially...selflessly...recklessly.
November 11, 2018
Live and Love Like the Saints (a sermon for Proper 26B
What is the greatest commandment?
November 04, 2018
I Want To See Again (A Sermon for Proper 25B 2018)
What do you want me to do for you? I want to see everything as made in God's image.
October 28, 2018
Pocket Knives and the Kingdom of God
What are we willing to give up to follow Jesus?
October 14, 2018
Listen Like a Child (A Sermon for Proper 22B)
Jesus is talking about a relationship all right, but perhaps he is using marriage as a metaphor for something bigger. Jesus is talking about brokenness in our lives, and in our relationships...but he is talking about the source of that brokenness. Hard hearts. Unlistening hearts.
October 08, 2018
The River Is Moving (A Sermon for EDUSC Clergy Conference)
As is the case with any successful institution, the church as we know it today was built with the best social and religious engineering available: as a robust and hardy structure to last. A lot of time, energy, sweat, and money has been invested. Generations of investment. And it served as a bridge for many to move from birth to death. It spanned the river. And that all worked very well when the river was in the right place.
September 25, 2018
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 06, 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 08, 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 01, 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 04, 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 01, 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 07, 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 05, 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 05, 2017
Be Transformed - A Sermon for VBS Sunday
Be Transformed - A Sermon for VBS Sunday by Alan Bentrup
July 23, 2017