HomeSunday Sermon SeriesSunday Sermon Series December 10, 2023

Sunday Sermon Series December 10, 2023

Whether you call them homilies, sermons, or talks, there’s a lot you can learn from the spiritual leaders in our community. While in a perfect world, you’d have time to listen to everyone, that simply isn’t possible for most with limited time to spare. To help, we’ve surfaced and summarized the teachings from the audio sermons of some of the most influential priests and pastors from around town and in the Christian sphere.

You can skip to a specific section by clicking the links below.

Jump to:

Fr. Mike Schmitz

Main Character

Fr. Mike Schmitz addresses the common experience of procrastination among students, particularly during the stress of finals week. He explores the root cause of procrastination, identifying perfectionism as a significant factor. Fr. Mike suggests that the pressure to be perfect often leads to procrastination, as individuals become overwhelmed by the weight of their expectations.

Fr. Mike relates this struggle to the concept of “Main Character Syndrome,” emphasizing the danger of perceiving oneself as the main character who must have everything together, save the day, and be perfect. He draws parallels between academic challenges and the spiritual realm, highlighting how perfectionism can lead to burnout in one’s faith journey.

To counteract the harmful effects of perfectionism, Fr. Mike introduces the idea of adaptive perfectionism, where individuals are motivated by high standards but maintain a healthy balance, avoiding hypercritical self-evaluation. He distinguishes this from maladaptive perfectionism, characterized by unrealistic expectations and constant pressure, ultimately leading to disappointment and procrastination.

Fr. Mike encourages a shift in perspective by emphasizing the importance of recognizing Jesus as the main character in one’s spiritual journey. He highlights the gentleness and patience of God, contrasting it with the harshness and hurried nature of perfectionism. The homily concludes with a call to embrace the freedom to be human, acknowledge imperfections, and rely on God’s grace, especially exemplified in the sacrament of reconciliation.

Listen to the full version here.

Buckhead Church

The Way Is The Manager

Andy Stanley’s sermon emphasizes the inclusive nature of Jesus’ statement, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Stanley argues that Jesus’ intention was not to be exclusive but inclusive. He asserts that Jesus was signaling a shift from the exclusive covenant with Israel to a more inclusive way for the entire world.

Stanley explains that the old way, based on birth, sacrifice, service, and obedience, is no longer the way. Instead, Jesus opens up access to God for everyone, regardless of their background or actions. The invitation is not just about belief; it is a call to follow Jesus and adopt his way of life. Stanley contends that Jesus’ life and actions embody the way of the Father, making it the best way to live.

The sermon highlights the significance of reconciliation in Jesus’ teachings. Stanley argues that Christians, as reconciled individuals, should be reconcilers themselves. Drawing on various biblical passages, including the Lord’s Prayer, Stanley emphasizes the importance of forgiving others just as God has forgiven believers. He suggests that reconciliation is not optional but a central part of the Christian way of life.

Stanley illustrates these principles with the story of Zacchaeus, who, after encountering Jesus, willingly seeks reconciliation by giving to the poor and repaying those he wronged. The sermon concludes by asserting that reconciliation is not just about agreeing with others but about actively pursuing peace and resolving broken relationships. Stanley challenges Christians to embody the way of reconciliation in their lives, bringing unity in a divided world.

Listen to the full version here.

Cathedral of Christ The King

In Monsignor Francis G. McNamee’s homily, he opens with a poignant story of a funeral where the priest extols the virtues of the deceased, portraying him as an honest, trustworthy, hardworking, and loving individual. However, a moment of uncertainty arises when the widow discreetly questions the accuracy of these qualities and sends a child to verify the identity in the casket. Transitioning to the Advent season, Monsignor McNamee draws parallels between this story and the spiritual preparation required during Advent. He reflects on St. John the Baptist’s role as a prophet and messenger, urging people to prepare for God’s entry into their lives through repentance, prayer, and fasting.

The homily emphasizes the invitation to conversion, with Monsignor McNamee encouraging listeners to identify and address the obstacles preventing God from entering their hearts. He discusses the need to fill in the valleys of prejudice, level the mountains of pride, and straighten out the crooked paths of injustice in one’s life. The homily prompts introspection about what aspects of our lives need turning around to allow God to come closer. Advent, according to Monsignor McNamee, is portrayed as a time of prayer and penance, emphasizing the necessity of making a fresh start to prevent spiritual drift.

Preparing the way for God is described as a time-consuming and costly business, requiring individuals to let go, listen to God’s guidance, and make necessary changes in behavior. Welcoming God involves removing obstacles that hinder His presence. The homily also highlights the importance of announcing Christ to others through everyday acts of kindness, honesty, and faithfulness. Monsignor McNamee encourages active participation in the sacraments, particularly reconciliation, as a means of preparing for the arrival of the Savior in one’s life. He challenges the congregation to step out of their comfort zones, overcome sin, and embrace the hope offered by God during the Advent season.

Listen to the full version here.

Passion City Church

Brad Jones begins by reflecting on the Christmas Carol theme introduced by Pastor Louie the previous week. He talks about the tradition of Christmas caroling and suggests bringing it back, specifically mentioning the song “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.” He emphasizes the significance of “Joy to the World” and how it was originally written by Isaac Watts, not as a Christmas song, but as a reflection on Jesus coming again as king to rule and reign.

The sermon then shifts to a focus on a man named Simeon from Luke 2. Brad highlights Simeon’s devotion and righteousness, noting that while we don’t know much about Simeon’s background, his spiritual condition is well-documented. He encourages the audience to consider what they are known for and challenges them to embrace a lifestyle of righteousness and devotion to God.

The main theme of the sermon revolves around Simeon’s encounter with baby Jesus at the temple. Brad delves into the cultural context of Joseph and Mary presenting Jesus at the temple, emphasizing their obedience to the Old Testament law. He brings attention to the fact that Simeon, moved by the Holy Spirit, had been promised by God that he would not die before seeing the Lord’s Messiah.

The sermon underlines the weight of Simeon’s words when he sees Jesus, recognizing Him as the promised salvation for all nations. Brad emphasizes Simeon’s acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty, citing him saying, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised.” He encourages the listeners to trust in God’s promises and points out specific promises made by Jesus, including laying down His life, sending the Holy Spirit, providing rest, never letting go of believers, and coming back to take believers to be with Him.

Listen to the full version here.

Trinity Anglican Church

In her sermon, Pastor Andrienne Christian delves into the context of Isaiah 40, emphasizing the significant period of silence and exile God’s people experienced between chapters 30 and 40. This era is marked by grief, dismay, and a feeling of distance from God due to disobedience. Drawing a parallel to personal loss, Pastor Christian shares her own experience of mourning her father’s recent passing. The sermon explores the theme of God’s comfort, highlighting moments when people feel alone, lost, or separated from God. Using the backdrop of the wilderness, Pastor Christian emphasizes that God speaks comfort even in desolate places, making a highway for His presence.

The passage from Lamentations underscores the depth of Israel’s grief during exile. Pastor Christian then prompts the audience to reflect on their own “Babylon,” the places of pain, hopelessness, or separation from God. Amidst these struggles, God’s comforting voice echoes, urging believers to prepare the way for the Lord in the wilderness of their lives. The sermon emphasizes the unexpected contrast of a highway in the desert, symbolizing God’s transformative work in seemingly barren places. The concept of making a way for God involves faith, action, and creating space for Him to move.

Pastor Christian encourages the congregation to engage in practices that foster an encounter with God, such as finding silence, confessing sins, and embracing vulnerability. The sermon culminates in the anticipation of God’s ultimate Shalom, referencing Revelation 21, where God will wipe away every tear, and there will be no more mourning or pain. The message invites believers to trust in God’s enduring word, expressed through the repeated “behold” in verses 9 and 10, encouraging them to gaze upon the mighty, rewarding, and tender God. The sermon concludes with a call to honesty about personal dark places and an invitation to experience God’s healing presence.

Listen to the full version here.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on our site are written by our local community of contributors as a reflection of their personal experiences. All information is researched and provided in good faith, however, it does not necessarily represent the views of the organization they’re writing about nor that of the City on Purpose staff, and/or any/all contributors of this site. If there are issues with the accuracy of this piece, we want to fix them. Please contact City on Purpose to submit a request for an update. We strive to be an honest resource for all those in the city – thanks for helping us make that possible! You can also review our full Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions, and Privacy Policy.