HomeSunday Sermon SeriesSunday Sermon Series March 31, 2024

Sunday Sermon Series March 31, 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

In Fr. Mike Schmitz’s homily, he reflects on the evolving emotions tied to cancellations as one age. Initially, cancellations were met with devastation, but over time, even cancellations of burdensome or enjoyable events bring relief. Fr. Mike proposes that this shift may stem from lives becoming overly full or hearts too small to fully appreciate the significance of canceled events. He recalls a personal experience of a canceled family wedding due to illness, highlighting how cancellations can be devastating when something holds deep meaning.

The homily then transitions to discussing the cancellation of Mass during the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing varied reactions ranging from anger to relief. Fr. Mike questions whether the cancellation revealed a lack of necessity for the Eucharist in some individuals’ lives. Drawing from C.S. Lewis’s argument, he emphasizes that if the resurrection of Jesus is true, it is of infinite importance, challenging listeners to reassess the centrality of the Eucharist in their lives.

Fr. Mike shares the story of Father Walter, emphasizing his unwavering commitment to celebrating Mass daily despite extreme circumstances. He contrasts this with modern attitudes towards the Eucharist, where it often becomes optional or an accessory rather than a necessity. He challenges listeners to reflect on whether their lives are overfull with other goods, leaving little room for the essentials.

The homily concludes with a call to action, urging listeners to make sacrifices to prioritize Mass attendance, especially during the Easter season. Fr. Mike emphasizes that if the resurrection is true, the Eucharist becomes not just necessary but worth rearranging one’s life for. He challenges listeners to stop treating Jesus, the Mass, and the Eucharist as optional, instead recognizing their infinite importance.

Listen to the full version here.

Buckhead Church

Andy Stanley’s sermon revolves around the central theme of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and its profound implications for believers. He begins by highlighting the fundamental mystery of life and death, asserting that without Jesus’ resurrection, the mystery of what happens after death remains unexplained. Drawing parallels between ancient Greek and contemporary beliefs about the immortality of the soul, Stanley emphasizes the unique Christian belief in bodily resurrection rather than the eternal existence of disembodied souls.

He contrasts various ancient theories, including Greek notions of Hades and reincarnation, with the Jewish concept of Sheol and the eventual resurrection of the righteous. Stanley underscores the significance of Jesus’ resurrection as a validation of his claim to be able to forgive sin, pointing out that Jesus not only forgave sins but also reversed the consequences of sin through miraculous healings and ultimately by raising the dead, such as Lazarus.

The sermon progresses to discuss the apostle Paul’s teachings on resurrection, emphasizing Jesus as the first fruit of those who will be resurrected. Stanley contends that belief in Jesus’ resurrection is not merely based on religious scripture but on eyewitness testimonies and historical evidence. He urges listeners to consider the personal implications of Jesus’ resurrection, inviting them to believe in Jesus as the Son of God who conquered death and offers eternal life to those who follow him.

In conclusion, Stanley emphasizes the transformative power of believing in Jesus’ resurrection, asserting that it changes lives and offers hope beyond the grave. He challenges listeners to wrestle with the question posed by Jesus to Martha: “Do you believe this?” Ultimately, Stanley presents Jesus as the central figure of history, whose resurrection offers a pathway to forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life for all who believe.

Listen to the full version here.

Cathedral of Christ The King

Monsignor Francis McNamee’s homily revolves around the story of a newly appointed pastor and his housekeeper, Mrs. Kelly, encountering various challenges in the rectory, leading to a humorous yet profound reflection on the Easter message. As Mrs. Kelly urgently interrupts a meeting with the Archbishop due to a mouse in the rectory, Monsignor McNamee transitions into a powerful Easter message. He highlights the universal joy and renewal that Easter brings to believers worldwide, likening it to the emergence of new life. Drawing parallels between the rectory’s problems and the personal challenges individuals face, he invites listeners to reflect on the invitation of Easter to embrace new life in Christ, to die to the old self, and rise to the new.

The homily delves into the story of Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the empty tomb, emphasizing her journey from fear to faith and uncertainty to conviction. Monsignor McNamee portrays Mary as a model of courage and devotion in the face of danger and uncertainty, paralleling her experience with the challenges individuals encounter in life. He vividly describes Mary’s apprehension as she approaches the tomb and her transformation upon encountering the risen Jesus. Through Mary’s example, he encourages listeners to emulate her unwavering faith and courage in encountering Christ amidst their own fears and uncertainties, trusting in God’s power to overcome obstacles.

Continuing, Monsignor McNamee underscores the transformative power of encountering the risen Christ, emphasizing the promise of resurrection and eternal life. He urges listeners to embrace the Easter message with hearts full of joy and gratitude, knowing that the risen Christ walks with them every day, guiding and protecting them. Drawing on the assurance of Christ’s presence until the end of time and the promise of eternal life in heaven, he concludes with a resounding affirmation that “the Lord has truly risen,” leaving the congregation inspired to embrace the hope and joy of Easter in their lives.

Listen to the full version here.

Passion City Church

In his sermon, Louie Giglio emphasizes the significance of Easter, the culmination of the most important week in history, through the lens of the Gospel of Matthew. He highlights Matthew’s perspective as a Jewish believer, portraying Jesus as the promised king foretold in the Old Testament scriptures. Giglio recounts the resurrection morning, focusing on the angelic proclamation to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary that Jesus, who was crucified, has risen. He underscores the magnitude of this event, emphasizing Jesus’ victory over death and the invitation for all to witness the empty tomb and believe.

Expounding on the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Giglio contrasts the humble arrival of Jesus riding on a donkey with the expectation of a grand royal entrance. He draws attention to the symbolism of the donkey’s cross marking, signifying Jesus’ journey towards crucifixion to save humanity. Giglio emphasizes the profound message that while Jesus died for the sins of the world, he triumphantly rose from the dead, offering everlasting life to all who believed.

Giglio addresses the attempts to discredit the resurrection, highlighting the plot concocted by the religious leaders to fabricate a story about the disciples stealing Jesus’ body. He emphasizes the authenticity of the resurrection accounts, emphasizing the eyewitness testimonies and the life-transforming encounters with the risen Jesus. Giglio concludes by urging believers to embrace the truth of the empty tomb, proclaiming that Jesus’ resurrection marks the end of all other roads to salvation, offering the ultimate hope and assurance of eternal life through faith in him.

Listen to the full version here.

Trinity Anglican Church

In Kris McDaniel’s sermon, delivered on Easter Sunday, he begins by acknowledging the significance of the day for Christians as the start of the great 50 days of celebrating and embodying the gift of resurrection. McDaniel then delves into an exploration of the Gospel of Mark, particularly focusing on its ending, which he argues is intentionally abrupt and significant. Mark’s gospel, being the oldest of the four, was written during a time of persecution for Christians under Emperor Nero. McDaniel emphasizes the importance of understanding resurrection not just as a future event but as something that entered into the present, amidst suffering and oppression.

He goes on to explain the cultural and historical context of Mark’s gospel and the early Christian church, highlighting the radical nature of resurrection occurring in the midst of pain and death. McDaniel clarifies the true meaning of resurrection as a physical and tangible event, challenging misconceptions and emphasizing the bravery it inspires in believers. He addresses textual criticism, defending the reliability of the Bible and explaining discrepancies in manuscript evidence. Through his analysis, McDaniel aims to instill courage and faith in his listeners, urging them to embrace the transformative power of resurrection in their lives.

The sermon then transitions into a close examination of the biblical passage describing the discovery of Jesus’s empty tomb by Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. McDaniel unpacks the emotional journey of these women, from their initial love for Jesus to their confusion and fear upon finding the tomb empty. Despite their fear, they are encouraged by the angelic message to not be afraid and to go and tell the disciples about Jesus’s resurrection. McDaniel draws parallels between the women’s experience and the struggles of modern-day believers, encouraging them to confront their fears and doubts with faith and courage.

In conclusion, McDaniel emphasizes the call for Christians to live as Easter people, practicing resurrection in their daily lives. He emphasizes that despite the challenges and uncertainties they may face, the victory of life over death, symbolized by Jesus’s resurrection, empowers believers to live boldly and fearlessly. The sermon ends with a call to confession and a reminder of God’s forgiveness, inviting listeners to embrace the hope and freedom offered through the resurrection of Jesus.

Listen to the full version here.

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