Second Presbyterian Church, Baltimore

Second Presbyterian Church, Baltimore

secondpresby.org
A live recording of sermons preached each Sunday at Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland, with the Rev. Dr. Tom Blair, the Rev. Amy Carlson, and the Rev. Jenn DiFrancesco. Updated weekly!


“And the Walls Came Tumbling Down” - Sermon for March 29, 2020
Mar 29 • 15 min
Nobody has every said, “A crisis? Yippee!” But the children of God are called to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Yes, even in times of unprecedented fear such…
“The Recipe of Love” - Sermon for March 22, 2020
Mar 22 • 14 min
There’s a saying: “A cook is only as good as the ingredients.” If the essentials for a good recipe aren’t there from the beginning, then the cook cannot make what’s needed. As Rev. Amy describes today, whether it’s cooking without sugar, building a house…
“Another Brick in the Wall” - Sermon for March 15, 2020
Mar 16 • 15 min
Today’s church services were held online only, due to coronavirus concerns. The full 11 AM service can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/secondpresby/videos/690774551660768/ The Church has always needed to face uncertainty. Whether this uncertainty…
“More Than Meets the Eye” - Sermon for March 8, 2020
Mar 10 • 13 min
For ages, people have referred to those without awareness or discernment as blind - metaphorically speaking. Whether the blindness is physical, intellectual or spiritual, all types of blindness separate us from others and from good gifts that could be…
“The Look of Love” - Sermon for February 16, 2020
Feb 18 • 15 min
Bible reading - Mark 7: 1-23 Today, Rev. Tom describes how Jesus deals with hypocrisy, and how we can deal with it too - not with hypocrites (though those are always present), but the hypocrisy within ourselves. As he illustrates in two stories, humans…
“How Much Baggage Do We Need?” - Sermon for February 9, 2020
Feb 11 • 19 min
Good project managers don’t plan a project without know they have the proper resources of people, materials and time. But as Rev. Tom describes today, Jesus also knows what his followers need to NOT have. The baggage that we all carry around with us can…
“Interrupting Jesus” - Sermon for February 2, 2020
Feb 3 • 15 min
We are experts at insisting on our own way, but the Love of God is not so intransigent. On this Super Bowl Sunday, people may cheer for a football player who is goal oriented, but Jesus has never followed the crowd. In today’s sermon, Rev. Tom describes…
“What Have You to Do with Me, Jesus?” - Sermon for January 26, 2020
Jan 28 • 18 min
What’s the worst thing about demon possession? Is it that demons are spooky and threatening in an Anne Rice or Stephen King kind of way? In today’s sermon, Rev. Tom describes how the evil influence of demons terrify us most because of their control over…
“Far More than Parables” - Sermon for January 19, 2020
Jan 20 • 16 min
On this Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, we take a special look at someone who also embodied the promotion of justice and deep spirituality - Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Rev. Tom describes how the fame-loving young Íñigo had his life undone and reformed by…
“Can You Keep a Secret?” - Sermon for January 12, 2020
Jan 12 • 12 min
What truths does a secret hide? If the secret only hides itself, it can be used for good or ill. But sometimes, a secret can be used to reveal a greater truth. Such is the case with the secrecy that Jesus kept around his identity during his ministry. As…
“Beyond Boundaries” - Sermon for January 5, 2020
Jan 6 • 14 min
This Epiphany Sunday, we’re following the Narrative Lectionary as it shows us a more profound manifestation of Jesus than just a baby boy that the Wise Men visit. Beginning our journey through the Gospel of Mark, Rev. Tom describes several stories when…
“An Orderly Account” - Sermon for December 22, 2019
Dec 23, 2019 • 16 min
Back when the Gospel writer Luke was a physician, he might not have had orderlies, but he definitely had an orderly … account of the good news of Jesus. In this Sunday’s sermon, Rev. Tom leads us into the New Testament with a birth narrative – but John…
“A Welcome ‘Welcome Home’” - Sermon for December 15, 2019
Dec 18, 2019 • 15 min
“You can’t go home again.” This may be a sad saying for many people, but God’s ways are about creating all things new - new blessings for a new generation of God’s people. In today’s sermon, Rev. Tom describes how Israel received a blessing of restoration…
“Finders Keepers” - Sermon for November 24, 2019
Nov 25, 2019 • 19 min
“Ignorance is bliss” may be an often-quoted proverb, but it’s not in Proverbs. It definitely doesn’t apply to King Josiah of the kingdom of Judah. As Rev. Tom describes, Josiah was a righteous king, but was missing out on essential information. During…
“Brokenhearted God” - Sermon for November 10, 2019
Nov 11, 2019 • 16 min
Does reading the Bible seem dry to you sometimes? The paragraphs of who begat whom? All those numbers in Numbers? Even the lessons in Proverbs can seem distant and esoteric. Then the book of Hosea is the one for you! Here, God’s emotions are shown in deep…
“If It Is of the Lord, Then Follow” - Sermon for November 3, 2019
Nov 4, 2019 • 19 min
Should you put God to the test? Deuteronomy 6 clearly says no, but Malachi 3 says that the children of Israel should do just that, by seeing how God responds abundantly to faithful tithing. In today’s sermon, Rev. Tom describes how one prophet tested God,…
“The Best Advice of All” - Sermon for October 27, 2019
Oct 28, 2019 • 19 min
There’s a saying: “Don’t give advice. The wise don’t need it, and the foolish won’t heed it.” Of course, humans almost always fall somewhere in between wise and foolish. So we need to seek out advice, and judge that advice apart from what our desires may…
“A Link in a Chain of Life; Not the Key” - Sermon for October 20, 2019
Oct 23, 2019 • 22 min
No understanding of how God and humans interact in the Bible is complete without studying the life of King David. As Rev. Tom describes, David was a person of faith unlike any who had come before. Here was a leader confident in his abilities and his…
“Where You Go, I Will Go” - Sermon for October 13, 2019
Oct 16, 2019 • 15 min
The old expression, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” may apply to many people, but some folks just know how to hold on. As Rev. Jenn describes to us today, there are countless things in our lives that we can’t control. But we can control…
“Written on Our Hearts” - Sermon for October 6, 2019
Oct 7, 2019 • 16 min
We have a guest speaker at Second Presbyterian Church for today’s services - the multi-talented MaryAnn McKibben Dana! When Moses brought down the laws from Mount Sinai, it can feel like a New Year’s ball-drop might as well come down with him. The laws of…
“Salvation in the Reeds” - Sermon for September 29, 2019
Sep 29, 2019 • 21 min
We humans tend to look for salvation in grandeur and radiant splendour. Rarely do we consider salvation sleeping in a simple manger, dying on a cross, hiding in a valley and being fed by ravens… or being placed in a basket in the mud and reeds of a river.…
“Holy Wrestling” - Sermon for September 22, 2019
Sep 24, 2019 • 14 min
Not everyone who wrestles with you is an enemy. This Sunday’s Lectionary reading is about that epic “Fight to the Dawn” - a match between Jacob and… someone. A man? An angel? God? There isn’t an obvious answer. But that uncertainty of a clear meaning is…
“While We Wait” - Sermon for September 15, 2019
Sep 17, 2019 • 14 min
This week’s Bible reading, from the Narrative Lectionary, Year 2, is Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7. Do we need to protect ourselves from God? Can we keep ourselves safe by running away like Jonah, or hiding like Adam and Eve? In today’s sermon, Rev. Amy looks…
“Living with Blessings and Boundaries” - Sermon for September 8, 2019
Sep 9, 2019 • 18 min
It’s a new season at Second Presbyterian! With the return to regular church services (remember - back to 9:00 and 11:00 AM next Sunday!), we leave our journey with Paul and instead join our fellow Christians following the Narrative Lectionary - Season 2.…
Sermon for August 11, 2019 - “Should We Then Sin?”
Aug 12, 2019 • 14 min
When we receive grace, does it leave us unchanged? The apostle Paul uses such a rhetorical device to engage his audience - and us - in understanding the nature of dying to sin. It’s not just disliking sin, or sinning a bit less… we have died to sin,…
Sermon for August 4, 2019 - “Unbelievable”
Aug 6, 2019 • 13 min
What qualifies as a good bet, an investment that has an acceptable rate of return for the risk involved? In this week’s text from Romans, Paul describes how God made an unbelievable investment of love in us - taking an impossible risk for people who…
Sermon for July 28, 2019 - “Faith Enough?”
Jul 30, 2019 • 16 min
Our Sizzlin’ Summer Sermon Series enters the dog days of summer as we begin the book in which Paul writes his most dogged pursuit of a systematic review of Christian life - the epistle to the Romans. Rev. Tom starts off by reminding us that Paul was no…
Sermon for July 14, 2019 - “Reconciling Into Community”
Jul 15, 2019 • 17 min
Our Sizzling Summer Sermon Series heats up as Paul dives into the very core of what it means to be a community. As Rev. Amy explains, the new life in Christ is not a blank canvas or a perfectly clean slate where any problems are smoothed over. As…
Sermon for July 7, 2019 - “Our Life’s Treasure”
Jul 11, 2019 • 14 min
We continue our Sizzling Summer Sermon Series with Paul’s letters by moving on to his follow-up letter to the Corinthians. Rev. Tom describes how Paul’s preaching was revolutionary, insisting that the church was called to be a counterculture. This brought…
Sermon for June 30, 2019 - “If Love Is the Answer, What Was the Question?”
Jun 30, 2019 • 16 min
Paul didn’t write the “Love Chapter” in 1 Corinthians so people could have a convenient Bible passage to read at weddings. The church of Corinth knew how to do weddings. What they didn’t know was how to live in a new Christian community that was brought…
Sermon for June 16, 2019 - “The Cross-Shaped Good News”
Jun 19, 2019 • 19 min
After a week off for a special presentation on Pentecost, we continue our journeys with Paul. This week, Paul writes to the church in Corinth with a message that can be summarized: “Shape up!” Corinth was a newly rebuilt city with a mix of people -…
Sermon for June 2, 2019 - “A Sure and Certain Arrival”
Jun 5, 2019 • 20 min
This week, we start off our Sizzlin’ Summer Sermon Series! Through the summer, we’ll be looking at the letters of the Apostle Paul. Rev. Tom begins with Paul’s first letter, written to the believers in Thessalonica. We often imagine Paul as a solo…
Sermon for May 26, 2019 - “The Last Full Measure”
May 29, 2019 • 18 min
This Memorial Day weekend, Rev. Tom Blair discusses the choices made by others which have added to our Christian faith. First, of course, is Jesus, who laid down his life for for his friends, and for us. And there are countless others who have made…
Sermon for May 19, 2019 - “Marvel”
May 19, 2019 • 15 min
Welcome to the first episode of the podcast for Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland! This series will be updated weekly with the sermons preached at our Sunday services. Today, we’re starting off with an end… or rather, an Endgame. Rev. Amy…