October 2015 Archives

Freedom means we can do what we want, right? Well, as Martin Luther said, Sin Boldly. But own your sin and pray even more boldly!

Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The text is included for your convenience, but it is not entirely like the delivered version, which includes nuances that can't be read.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

October 25, 2015  - Reformation Sunday

"Freedom to Sin".  Text is from  John 8:31-36


Good morning my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, children of God.

I want to first look at the Judeans in this passage and make it clear that they when we say that these are Judeans who had believed in Jesus and his mission, they no longer do so. And now some of them are in fact feeling antagonistic toward him.  

So there is a conflict opening up here in the gospel of John, but it is in direct response to Jesus.  Jesus is once again inviting the Judeans to be his disciples, the call that he has out for everyone, an offering of the understanding of what true discipleship is, and the freedom that comes from that understanding. But the Judeans have hardened their hearts toward him, and are particularly sensitive to his choice of words.

We want to be recognized for our accomplishments and to be accorded the respect we feel we deserve. But how does that fit into a life of service? 

Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The text is included for your convenience, but it is not entirely like the delivered version, which includes nuances that can't be read.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

October 18, 2015  - 21th Sunday after Pentecost

"Accountable to all".  Text is from  Mark 10:35-45


Good morning my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, children of God.

Now just a few weeks ago we heard about some of Jesus's nameless apostles arguing among themselves as to who will be the greatest one of all, and Jesus tells them whoever would be first must be last, and at the same time must be the servant of all.  Now it does not look like the clueless James and John quite got the message.  And you have to wonder why after spending all this time walking with Jesus hearing everything he has to say, how there can be these absurd demands on Jesus' position. One has to wonder what part of the gravity of the situation they are not getting. As if this is some kind of fantasy league they're playing and the kingdom that Jesus is talking about is actually so far off and remote from their understanding that making deals as to where exactly they will sit with regards to Jesus in his kingdom seems to be what makes sense to them. 


Money and property are can both be very much stumbling blocks in living out a grace filled life. But very few of us can live without them.  Can we be saved? 

 Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The text is included for your convenience, but it is not entirely like the delivered version, which includes nuances that can't be read.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

October 11, 2015  - 20th Sunday after Pentecost

"Possible Impossible".  Text is from  Mark 10:17-31


I love this gospel story, and there is such a treasure trove of wisdom evident in Jesus words to this unfortunate man who arrives with the simple and sincere desire to learn from Jesus, who he calls good teacher. And how taken aback must have been to be immediately castigated, told that only God is good. Jesus then reads off all of those commandments that deal with interacting with one another, with the curious exception of the commandment on covetousness. 

The man, now very sure of himself, responds that he has certainly kept all of these commandments and have always done so.  And then Jesus, and we are told that as he said this, he loved him, tells the man that he has to sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor.  And that he will then have treasure in heaven. We are told that the man is shocked by Jesus's words, and for no small reason in that he is a rich man, and instead of following Jesus, he wanders off, his head hung low. 

The unconditional love of our animal companions helps us to ease our troubled times. And when we're left even without our faithful pets, Jesus Christ can relieve us of all of our burdens. 

 Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The text is included for your convenience, but it is not entirely like the delivered version, which includes nuances that can't be read.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

October 4, 2015  - St. Francis of Assisi Sunday.  

"Faithful Companion".  Text is from Matthew 11:25-30


Greetings to you, my sister and brothers, saints and sinners, children of God. As we arrive at today's reading, Jesus had been talking about how the children of Israel rejected John, and they subsequently rejected Jesus, saying that John had a demon for being an ascetic and that Jesus was a drunkard and glutton for eating with sinners and tax collectors. 

When we look these sayings here at this point in Jesus ministry, we have to remember that the context of Jesus' pronouncements, particularly in Matthew's gospel, are such that they are said after Jesus has done some pretty unsettling and remarkable feats. 



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This page is an archive of entries from October 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

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I *am* Cary Bass-Deschenes
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