Hope Springs Eternal

Hope Springs Eternal

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Stories of hope in the Church (and some sermons along the way).


When Temples Fall (a sermon for Proper 28C 2019)
Nov 17 • 15 min
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…
Life Is Hard, Do Not Lose Faith (a sermon for Proper 19, 2019)
Sep 15 • 18 min
What did I learn from the night my life changed?
Love Demands Everything
Sep 9 • 14 min
September 8, 2019 Grace Episcopal Church (Camden, S.C.) Philemon 1-21 and Luke 14:25-33
We Are In This Together (a sermon for Heathwood Haol’s Convocation)
Sep 4 • 9 min
Through our highs and our lows, our hopes and our fears, our wins and our losses… We are in this together.
There Are No Strangers in Houston Right Now (a sermon for Proper 17C 2019)
Sep 1 • 16 min
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…
The Divisive Love of God (a Sermon for Proper 15C)
Aug 18 • 20 min
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.
Waiting (A Sermon for Proper 14C 2019)
Aug 18 • 14 min
One reality of life is waiting; waiting for someone to show up, for something to happen, for things to change.
Language Matters (A Sermon for Proper 13C, 2019)
Aug 4 • 11 min
This has to stop. And we have to change the way we speak to and about each other.
Unity, Not Uniformity (A Sermon for Easter 7C 2019)
Jun 4 • 16 min
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…
The Scent of Resurrection
May 5 • 11 min
A sermon for Easter 3C, preached at St. Michael & All Angels, Columbia, S.C.
We Have Seen the Risen Christ (A Sermon for for the Feast of the Resurrection - 2019)
Apr 21 • 11 min
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…
Our Time Has Come (a homily for Monday of Holy Week, 2019)
Apr 15 • 3 min
The waiting is almost over.
On Earth, As It Is In Heaven (A Sermon for Lent 2C, 2019)
Mar 18 • 14 min
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…
Crossing Boundaries for Love (a sermon for Wednesday in the first week of Lent)
Mar 13 • 12 min
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…
Who Is My Neighbor? (a Lenten series at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Winnsboro, SC)
Mar 10 • 48 min
“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…
The Fasting God Wants (a sermon for the Friday after Ash Wednesday)
Mar 8 • 5 min
Why do we fast?
We Know How This Thing Ends (A sermon for the last Monday after the Epiphany)
Mar 4 • 3 min
When we know the end of the story, it frees us to look at the journey in a new way.
Right Here. Right Now. Today (A Sermon for Epiphany 3C, 2019)
Jan 27 • 13 min
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…
Timing is Everything (A Sermon for Epiphany 2C)
Jan 20 • 17 min
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.
What Are We Waiting For? ( A Sermon for Advent 1C 2018)
Dec 3, 2018 • 12 min
We don’t just need to wait for the Light to come. We need to be the light in the world.
Sacrificial. Selfless. Reckless. (A Sermon for Proper 27B - 2018)
Nov 11, 2018 • 15 min
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…
Live and Love Like the Saints (a sermon for Proper 26B
Nov 4, 2018 • 12 min
What is the greatest commandment?
I Want To See Again (A Sermon for Proper 25B 2018)
Oct 28, 2018 • 16 min
What do you want me to do for you? I want to see everything as made in God’s image.
Four Hard Things (a sermon for the Feast of Ignatius of Antioch)
Oct 17, 2018 • 9 min
Stories of hope in the Church (and some sermons along the way).
Pocket Knives and the Kingdom of God
Oct 14, 2018 • 5 min
What are we willing to give up to follow Jesus?
Listen Like a Child (A Sermon for Proper 22B)
Oct 7, 2018 • 13 min
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…
The River Is Moving (A Sermon for EDUSC Clergy Conference)
Sep 25, 2018 • 16 min
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.…
Stand With Christ, Stand With Others (A Sermon for Proper 7B)
Jun 24, 2018 • 13 min
We stood with one another when we faced a storm 10 months ago. And we are called every day to‚Äč 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…
Reckless Love of God (A Sermon for Trinity Sunday)
May 27, 2018 • 20 min
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
This is Our Altar Call (A Sermon for Easter 7B)
May 13, 2018 • 14 min
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…
Bentrup, Germany (A Sermon for Easter 6B)
May 6, 2018 • 16 min
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.
Plenty of Work for Love to Do (A Sermon for Easter 5B)
Apr 29, 2018 • 13 min
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…
You’re Children of God, Now Act Like It! (A Sermon for Easter 3B)
Apr 15, 2018 • 10 min
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!
God is (Revealing, Healing, Purifying) Light (A Sermon for Easter 2B)
Apr 8, 2018 • 17 min
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.
Nobody Ever Gets to Stay (A Sermon for for the Feast of the Resurrection - 2018)
Apr 1, 2018 • 12 min
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…
Nobody Dies Alone (A Sermon for Lent 5B)
Mar 18, 2018 • 17 min
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.
The Hardest Commandment (A Sermon for Lent 3B)
Mar 4, 2018 • 13 min
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…
Luke, Jesus, and the Hebrew Bible
Mar 1, 2018 • 55 min
A Lenten presentation for St. Stephen’s in Huntsville, Texas, looking at how Luke connects the story of Jesus with the story of Israel.
Resurrection Over Survival (A Sermon for Lent 2B)
Feb 24, 2018 • 12 min
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…
Transforming the Ordinary (A Sermon for Epiphany 3B)
Jan 20, 2018 • 13 min
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.
Beloved Children of God (A Sermon for Epiphany 1B, 2018)
Jan 6, 2018 • 12 min
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…
Just The Beginning (A Sermon for Advent 2A - 2018)
Dec 9, 2017 • 11 min
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…
Join the Team (A Sermon for All Saint’s Day)
Nov 4, 2017 • 9 min
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?
Practice Loving Your Neighbor (A Sermon for Proper 25A)
Oct 28, 2017 • 12 min
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…
Minted in Christ (A Sermon for Proper 24A)
Oct 21, 2017 • 14 min
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…
Turn and Live (A Sermon for Proper 21A)
Sep 29, 2017 • 15 min
Turn and Live (A Sermon for Proper 21A) by Alan Bentrup
Generosity Over Jealousy (A Sermon for Proper 20A)
Sep 23, 2017 • 15 min
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,…
How Often Should I Forgive? (A Sermon for Proper 19A)
Sep 16, 2017 • 14 min
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.
Look to the Rock That Will Last
Aug 26, 2017 • 19 min
A sermon for Proper 16A August 27, 2017
Mary, Moana, and the Gospel (A Sermon for St. Mary’s Day 2017)
Aug 19, 2017 • 18 min
Mary, Moana, and the Gospel (A Sermon for St. Mary’s Day 2017)
Transformed for a Purpose (A Sermon for the Feast of the Transfiguration)
Aug 4, 2017 • 11 min
“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…
Be Transformed - A Sermon for VBS Sunday
Jul 22, 2017 • 12 min
Be Transformed - A Sermon for VBS Sunday by Alan Bentrup