HomeSunday Sermon SeriesSunday Sermon Series February 18, 2024

Sunday Sermon Series February 18, 2024

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.

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Fr. Mike Schmitz

He Leadeth Me

Fr. Mike Schmitz delivered a homily on the first Sunday of Lent, introducing a new series based on the book “He Leadeth Me” by Father Walter Cizek. The book narrates the life of Father Walter Cizek, an American priest and former Jesuit, who felt a calling to be a missionary in Russia. However, he faced unexpected challenges, including arrest and imprisonment for five years in solitary confinement and 15 years in a Soviet gulag, being presumed dead at one point.

Fr. Schmitz emphasized the significance of “He Leadeth Me” in portraying the spiritual transformation of an ordinary person into a saint, unlike typical accounts of saints focused on their extraordinary deeds. The homily delved into the theme of expectations and reality, drawing parallels between Father Cizek’s experiences and our own expectations in life.

Father Cizek’s life took unexpected turns, challenging his initial expectations as a priest and missionary. Fr. Schmitz cautioned against having great expectations, linking them to potential joy killers and thieves of peace, as they often lead to disappointment when reality doesn’t align with our anticipation. The homily encouraged listeners to be wary of expectations, especially during Lent, and to choose between avoiding or accepting reality when expectations clash with it.

Fr. Schmitz shared how Father Cizek, initially disappointed and tempted to leave his mission, eventually found solace by accepting the reality and viewing it from God’s perspective. The key, according to the homily, is to accept reality without necessarily approving of it, acknowledging the truth even in challenging situations. The homily concluded by highlighting the importance of recognizing God’s will in the midst of unexpected circumstances and the freedom that comes from embracing reality as part of God’s plan.

Listen to the full version here.

Buckhead Church


In Andy Stanley’s sermon, he delves into the historical and linguistic aspects of the term “church.” He begins by emphasizing the significance of understanding the Greek word “ekklesia,” which means assembly or gathering, and how it was initially used in the New Testament. Stanley traces the evolution of the term, noting that in the fourth century, with the legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire, the word “kureakos,” meaning house of the Lord, was adopted to describe places of worship. This eventually transformed into the English word “church.” However, Stanley points out that this term, often associated with buildings and locations, diverges from the original concept of “ekklesia” as a dynamic movement of people gathering for a purpose.

Stanley introduces William Tyndale, a 16th-century translator of the Bible into English, who insisted on translating “ekklesia” as “congregation” rather than “church.” Tyndale’s choice, aimed at shifting the focus from a physical place to a collective movement, led to tensions with church leaders of his time. The sermon highlights the pivotal role Tyndale played in making the Bible accessible to the common people and challenging the institutionalization of Christianity. Stanley concludes by urging contemporary believers to recognize that they are part of a significant movement, not confined to a building, and emphasizes the need to align with the original teachings and actions of Jesus as the true guiding principles for the assembly of believers.

Listen to the full version here.

Cathedral of Christ The King

Father Juan Carlos explores the significance of the Holy Spirit received through baptism and renewed during confirmation, connecting it to the Lenten season. Drawing inspiration from the Gospel of Mark, Father Juan Carlos sees the desert experience during Lent as a means of liberation, akin to Jesus’ own journey. He encourages the congregation to view the Lenten desert as a meeting place with their consciences before God’s just gaze, where they confront metaphorical wild animals hindering spiritual growth.

These “wild animals” represent various obstacles such as pride, laziness, envy, and selfishness. Father Juan Carlos invites worshippers to identify a specific obstacle and place it on the altar, seeking the Holy Spirit’s transformative grace during Lent. Emphasizing the continuity of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, he sees them as interconnected practices leading believers closer to God and each other. Father Juan Carlos suggests specific actions, such as attending daily Mass, praying the rosary, or fasting from negative behaviors like gossip. He intertwines fasting and almsgiving, encouraging the congregation to redirect saved resources to help those in need. The homily concludes with a call to seek the help of the Blessed Mother Mary in remaining steadfast during Lent, finding joy and hope in the awareness that the Lord does not abandon them in the desert of life.

Listen to the full version here.

Passion City Church


Louie Giglio begins with expressing excitement about the prayer and fasting Cumberland has done in January, believing it has set the stage for a fruitful season. He senses the presence of the Holy Spirit in the gathering and emphasizes the importance of continued prayer and reliance on God.

The sermon is part of a series called Epicenter, focusing on Romans 8, considered by many theologians as a pinnacle chapter in the Bible. Giglio reads and encourages the congregation to turn to Romans 8:1-17. He emphasizes the significance of being in Christ, stressing that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. He highlights the key question of whether individuals are truly in Christ, emphasizing that it goes beyond mere religious affiliation or outward actions.

Giglio introduces the analogy of Tupperware to illustrate the positional aspect of being in Christ. He discusses the transformative power of faith, explaining how believers are united with Christ in baptism, becoming new creations with a changed position and identity. He highlights that being in Christ means being free from condemnation and having a secure position as heirs and children of God.

The sermon underscores the importance of mindset in living a victorious Christian life. Giglio connects the renewing of the mind, as mentioned in Romans 12:2, to the process of spiritual renovation. He draws parallels with home renovation, emphasizing the need to tear down old mindsets and replace them with God’s truth. The sermon encourages believers to align their thoughts with God’s thoughts, actively engaging in the transformation of their minds.

Listen to the full version here.

Trinity Anglican Church

In Kris McDaniel’s sermon, he discusses the significance of baptism as demonstrated in the text about Jesus’ baptism. McDaniel emphasizes that baptism is for everyone in the church, regardless of age, and symbolizes cleansing, new life, and moving through a transformative process. He addresses common reservations about baptism, such as personal discomfort, and stresses its beauty and power as a symbolic act. McDaniel invites those who haven’t been baptized to reach out for preparation.

The sermon then shifts to the concept of approval before achievement in Jesus. McDaniel highlights God’s declaration, “This is my son, the beloved, with him I am well pleased,” emphasizing that Jesus hadn’t yet performed public ministry or notable miracles. McDaniel contrasts the worldly cycle of seeking acceptance through achievement with Jesus’ cycle of beginning with a sense of acceptance, leading to sustenance, realizing significance, and finally achieving or bearing fruit. He encourages a shift away from the exhausting cycle of works to embrace a cycle of grace, starting with a foundational understanding of one’s belovedness and acceptance. McDaniel acknowledges the challenge of adopting this perspective, especially for parents trying to instill it in their children, but emphasizes it as a crucial aspect of God’s transformative work.

Listen to the full version here.

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