November 2015 Archives

Jesus gave his followers signs. Signs are all around us today. How do we know what they mean or what they are for. And how do we see the signs in the world and still live in hope for Christ's reign? 

 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. 

November 29, 2015  -  1st Sunday in Advent

"Signs of Hope".  Text is from Luke 21:25-36


Good morning to you my sisters and brothers in Christ, saints and sinners, children of God.  

Today is the first Sunday in Advent, and the first Sunday of a season that we look forward to the great coming of the Messiah in the form of a humble child. And we move to a different cycle in the church year and get to move ourselves into that eager anticipation. There is much joy to come in the world, as we lift our Christmas trees up in our living rooms and spread the lights across our mantle pieces and dust off our ornaments, decorating our homes. Maybe even going online and shopping for gifts for Christmas, trying to be the first in line at the store to get this year's crazy toy. While much of the season is driven by the crass commercialism of the media market trying to encourage us to spend, spend, spend, there's no fault in ourselves for wanting to share the joy of our past year with one another, brightening up our lives and making memories of one more holiday season with family, friends and those that we love. 

What does it mean to claim Jesus as supreme ruler of the Universe over all? How does that affect our allegiances and how we respond to threats around us as well as fulfill our calling?  And just what do we mean by "God and Country"?

 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. 

November 22, 2015  -  Christ the King Sunday / 26th Sunday after Pentecost

"One Creation, Under God".  Text is from John 18:33-37



Good morning to you my sisters and brothers in Christ, saints and sinners, children of God.  

There are many different ways to end the year.  Most of the western world commonly celebrate it on December 31, where our calendar ends and the date will move from 2015 to 2016. I know that many of us will have fond memories of 2015, while others will be of the attitude that they couldn't wait for this year to end. I myself have had some great joys, becoming pastor of this congregation being one of them, as well as moving into a new house, as of yesterday.  But I also lost my grandmother in January and one other very good friend only last month.



The chaos of the world around us makes it feel as if we are living in the end times. But are things worse than ever or are we just hearing about them more? Christ is nevertheless still with us. 

 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. 

November 15, 2015  -  25th Sunday after Pentecost

"The World Goes On".  Text is from Mark 13:1-8


Good rainy morning to you my sisters and brothers in Christ, saints and sinners, children of God.  

Here we are in Mark at the end of Jesus' ministry and the very beginning of the passion narrative, and the gospel takes a very difficult turn. It is the first time in Mark that we hear about something that sounds like something resembling the end times. The disciples staring in awe at the big rocks that came together to make the temple, country bumpkins at their first trip to the big city.  But Jesus tells them the buildings are only temporary. They will be cast down on the ground. 

  


A widow who gives all of her meager savings is the epitome of giving, and also not very considerate of herself. But giving of one's life, now that's a different matter. 

 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. 

November 8, 2015  -  24th Sunday after Pentecost

"Freedom to Sin".  Text is from Mark 12:38-44


Happy Sunday morning to you my sisters and brothers in Christ, saints and sinners, children of God. 

Our gospel situates us comfortably in Mark, right smack dab in another passage that seems to be two completely unrelated parts.  If we had not broken out of the regular reading cycle for the last two weeks by celebrating Reformation and All Saints Day, we would see that we enter this passage, we know that Jesus is in the temple, and therefore the crowd that is watching him is most certainly made up of observant Jews, some of whom are the scribes of whom he speaks. But this also comes on the heels of another encounter with another scribe, one which was positive, and one which the scribe answered rightly and Jesus practically blesses him by saying, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."  


Worried about the final destination of your friends and relatives? The grace of God reminds us that we don't have to worry. All of us have the potential to be sinners and saints.  In remembrance of those who have moved on in the last year, including those people killed by police. 

 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. 

November 1, 2015  - All Saints Sunday

"Freedom to Sin".  Text is from Revelation 21:1-6 and  John 11:32-44


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

I find the story of Lazarus being raised out of his tomb a curiously maudlin one for All Saints Sunday, mainly because its content is about the restoration of an old life rather than the resurrection of a new life, and also more about Jesus's love and the power of Christ. Very simply, what we have is a man who Jesus loved like few others, and whose loss Jesus was so distraught by, that he called on God to bring him back again. And this was done at a time of great tension between Jesus, his followers and the Judaens, who are yet looking for a Messiah to lead their people from bonds of their Roman overlords. Jesus as much as says it. The tomb is engulfed of the stench of Lazarus's body, 4 days dead. Jesus speaks, not so much that God will act but that the people watching will see his power and believe. And Lazarus is risen once more.  

Powered by Movable Type 5.14-en

About this Archive

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

October 2015 is the previous archive.

December 2015 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

About the Author

I *am* Cary Bass-Deschenes
Written by Cary Bass-Deschenes
Website © Cary Bass-Deschenes, 2003-2014. All of the content on this website is available under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license unless otherwise indicated.