Archive for the ‘Rob’s Sermons’ Category

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Easter 2010 preached by Rob Sturdy on Easter Sunday 2010

The Resurrection and other religions (John 20.19-28) preached by Rob Sturdy on April 11th, 2010

Can the Resurrection heal my guilt and shame? (1 Pet 5.6-11) preached by Iain Boyd on April 18th, 2010

Can the Resurrection help me know God?  (Acts 9.1-9) preached by Rob Sturdy on April 25th, 2010

Can the Resurrection help me understand human suffering? (Luke 24.13-35) preached by Rob Sturdy on May 2nd 2010

Sex and the Resurrection (1 Cor 6.12-20) preached by Rob Sturdy on May 9th, 2010

The Resurrection and Politics (Acts 1.6-8)  preached by Iain Boyd on May 16th, 2010

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“The Discipline of Remembering” (Deut 26.1-11) preached by Iain Boyd on Feb 21st, 2010

“The Discipline of Waiting” (Gen 15.1-18) preached by Rob Sturdy on Feb 28th, 2010

“Leaving Egypt” (Exodus 3) preached by Iain Boyd on March 7th, 2010

The Discipline of Faith” (Josh 4.19-24) preached by Rob Sturdy on March 14th, 2010

“The Discipline of Hope” (Isa 43.16-21) preached by Iain Boyd on March 21st, 2010

Partnership in the Gospel (Phil 1.1-11) preached by Rob Sturdy on 9-13-09

A Joy that can’t be stolen (Phil 1.12-18) preached by Iain Boyd on 9-20-09

Jesus Christ on Trial (Phil 1.18-21) Preached by Rob Sturdy on 9-27-09

Prepare to Die (Phil 1.21-26) Preached by Iain Boyd on 10-04-09

Christ and Conflict (Phil 1.27-30): Preached by Rob Sturdy on 10-11-09

Lifting High the Cross (Phil 2.1-11): Preached by Peter Moore on 10-18-09

The Mind of Christ (Phil 2.5-11):  Preached by Iain Boyd on 10-25-09

“No one like him” (Phil 2.19-24): Preached by Iain Boyd on 11-08-09

“Dying for the sake of the Gospel” (Phil 2.25-30): preached by Iain Boyd on 11-15-09

“To believe and to suffer for his sake” (Phil 1.6-7, 29-30): preached by Rob Sturdy on Nov 22, 2009

“Lose your religion” (Phil 3.1-10) preached by Iain Boyd on Jan 10th, 2010

“Enemies of the Cross” (Phil 3.14-4.1) preached by Iain Boyd on Jan 24th, 2010

“The Excellency of Christ” (Phil 4.1-9) preached by Rob Sturdy on Jan 31, 2010

“The Generous Heart” (Phil 4.10-20) preached by Iain Boyd on Feb 7th, 2010

“The Grace of the Lord Jesus” (Phil 4.21-23) preached by Rob Sturdy on Feb 14, 2010

An Introduction to Malachi (Mal 1.1-5) preached by Thad Butcher on 8-2-09

“If I am a Father, where is my honor?” (Mal 1.6-14) preached by Rob Sturdy on 8-9-09

Why we preach hard sermons (Mal 2.1-9) preached by Iain Boyd on 8-16-09

Dead Religion and the Power of the Gospel (Mal 2.10-17) preached by Rob Sturdy on 8-23-09

Jesus is a Refiner’s Fire (Mal 3.1-15) preached by Iain Boyd on 8-30-09

The Fear of the Lord (Mal 4.1-6) preached by Iain Boyd on 9-6-09

“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.” (Ex 15.13)

The Bible, like life, is a messy piece of business. Anyone expecting to come to the Scriptures to find a nice, tidy, “religious” piece of literature is in for disappointment and more likely a good bit of shock. In the pages of the Bible you will find murders, adulteries, betrayals, wars, famines, horrific storms, oppression, blasphemies, and faithlessness. Even amongst the “heroes” of the Scriptures, very few of them actually are able to act heroically. Noah, though faithful, was in the end a drunk. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer. The list goes on and on.

What are we to make of this? First, we must praise the Scriptures for being honest about life. The heroes of the Bible are real men and women made with real flesh and blood who are without exception deeply flawed individuals. The people of the Bible are not removed from the world, but very much engaged in it. They experience profound joy and profound pain. They have moments of inspiring faithfulness and moments of devastating faithlessness. As Martin Luther once wrote “The first value of this is that the godly have the comfort they need in their weaknesses, because they see that at times even the saintliest men fell disgracefully as the result of similar weakness” (LW vol 2. pg 169). The Bible is not a piece of escapist literature. It unflinchingly presents a world with problems, filled with sinful and broken people.

But is that all there is to it? Thankfully not! For working through the chaos, pain, and sinfulness recorded in the Bible we also notice the constant and ever present “steadfast love” of the Lord. Sometimes, as in the redemption of Israel from slavery in Egypt, the steadfast love of the Lord is obvious, clear and powerful. At other times, such as the darkest hours of Good Friday, the steadfast love of the Lord is hidden though just as strongly present. Either way, it becomes obvious as we read through the Bible that while it reflects the broken world we all know and experience, the main theme of the Bible is nevertheless the steadfast love of the Lord. His steadfast love works in sovereign power to redeem us from sin, release us from bondage, and restore us to our intended humanity often in spite of our failings and brokenness.

I bring this up so that we might use the Bible to help us reflect on our life together here at Trinity. As you know, our Bishop has called all the congregations in the Diocese of South Carolina to engage the chaos and brokenness that has come to typify our life together in the Episcopal Church. Taking the Holy Scriptures as our guide in this matter, we will not draw back or make light of the very bad situation our denomination now finds itself in but we will deal with it honestly and head on. But while we engage the sin and brokenness of our denominational life, we must remember the central theme of the Bible and make it our central theme as well. God’s steadfast love, ultimately revealed in the giving of His Son to save sinners, will and must remain our main priority. Take this letter as my pledge to you to engage our denominational brokenness, but not get sidetracked by it. We are now as always, committed to the Gospel. That will never change.

much love,

Rob

Preached by Rob Sturdy on July 12, 2009. Click here for full audio and video.