HomeSunday Sermon SeriesSunday Sermon Series September 24, 2023

Sunday Sermon Series September 24, 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.

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Fr. Mike Schmitz

Tough Love

Fr. Mike Schmitz’s homily revolves around the themes of envy, love, and the destructive nature of comparison. He begins by referencing the movie “Amadeus,” which tells the fictional story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. Salieri, a devout man, devoted his life to God and music, making numerous sacrifices in pursuit of greatness and divine blessings. However, when he encounters Mozart, a musical genius despite his reckless lifestyle, Salieri’s envy and resentment begin to consume him.

Fr. Mike draws parallels between the movie’s narrative and biblical teachings, particularly the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. In this parable, laborers hired at different times of the day all receive the same wage, leading to envy among those who work longer hours. Fr. Mike emphasizes that envy is essentially competitive and destructive, causing us to resent others’ blessings rather than rejoice in them.

He delves into the difference between envy and jealousy, highlighting that jealousy can inspire improvement, whereas envy only seeks to diminish others. Envy, in essence, is the refusal to accept God’s love and blessings, leading to resentment and sorrow. Fr. Mike concludes by urging the audience to release resentment and envy, embrace God’s love, and learn to rejoice in the blessings of others rather than comparing oneself to them.

Listen to the full version here.

Buckhead Church

What If?

In his sermon, Matt Noblitt begins by discussing the power of two simple words: “What if.” He emphasizes how these words can either spark new dreams, inspire change, and envision possibilities, or they can lead to fear and doubt. He recaps the previous week’s sermon about Jesus wanting to transform one’s heart and the pivotal question: “What if you said yes?” This week, the sermon delves into an Old Testament story from the book of Joshua.

Matt shares a personal story about his daughter learning a Bible verse, emphasizing the importance of instilling faith in the next generation. He then transitions to the story of Joshua, who had to step into leadership after Moses. Despite the daunting circumstances and potential “what if” questions, God reassures Joshua of His presence and instructs him to be strong and courageous. Matt highlights the distinction between feeling strong and being strong, emphasizing that faith often requires action.

The sermon explores Joshua’s obedience to God’s unusual battle plan for conquering Jericho. Despite the plan’s unconventional nature and the doubts it might have generated, Joshua and his army demonstrate confidence in God’s promise that He is with them wherever they go. Matt emphasizes that there are walls in our lives that can only fall when we are fully confident in God’s presence. He provides examples of these walls, such as pride, shame, regret, insecurity, sin, and fear, and suggests that trusting in God’s presence can help overcome them.

The sermon concludes by revisiting the “what if” scenarios mentioned at the beginning, emphasizing that being fully confident in God’s presence allows individuals to live their lives in faith rather than fear. Matt encourages the congregation to internalize the promise that God is with them wherever they go, highlighting the potential transformation and impact it can have on their lives.

Listen to the full version here.

Cathedral of Christ The King

In his homily, Fr. Juan Carlos Villota Viteri reflects on the Gospel of the day, which tells the story of a landowner who hired laborers at different times throughout the day and paid them all the same wage at the end of the day, regardless of the hours they worked. He points out the revolutionary nature of this parable and its message of God’s boundless generosity and kindness, which challenges conventional ideas of fairness and merit-based rewards.

Fr. Viteri acknowledges the human tendency to question God’s goodness, especially when it appears that God extends His love and blessings to those who seem less deserving. He emphasizes that God’s love is equal for all and transcends human notions of worthiness. He encourages self-reflection, asking whether individuals are allowing God’s mercy to manifest in their lives or if they are attempting to dictate how God should distribute His blessings.

The homily highlights that gathering for the Eucharist is not a waste of time but an opportunity to build a connection with God and to carry the Kingdom of God into the world. Fr. Viteri stresses the importance of sharing God’s love and compassion with all people, irrespective of their circumstances or perceived worthiness. He challenges the congregation to consider whether they are allowing God’s mercy to be present in their lives and whether they are following the example of the landowner in the parable by showing love to all they encounter.

In conclusion, Fr. Juan Carlos Villota Viteri’s homily reminds the congregation of the profound message of the Gospel parable, urging them to embrace God’s infinite love and extend it to others, fostering a sense of equality and compassion in their communities.

Listen to the full version here.

Passion City Church

Louie Giglio’s sermon emphasizes the importance of being an active part of the church community and contributing to its mission. He begins by reflecting on the significance of personal connections within the church, highlighting that the church is like a family rather than just a membership. He draws inspiration from Romans 16, a chapter often overlooked due to its list of personal greetings. Giglio stresses that everyone has a role to play in the church’s mission, regardless of their gifts or abilities.

Paul, the apostle, serves as an example of someone who was passionately dedicated to spreading the gospel and building the church. Giglio points out that the church is not solely composed of pastors and leaders but includes people from various backgrounds and roles. He emphasizes that it’s not just about attending church but actively contributing and serving. The sermon underscores the idea that “we” as a collective body are more significant than “me” as an individual. Finally, Giglio concludes by highlighting that while many names are mentioned in Romans 16, all glory ultimately belongs to Jesus Christ.

In summary, Louie Giglio’s sermon underscores the importance of actively participating in the church community, contributing one’s gifts and talents to the mission, and recognizing that the church is a family where everyone plays a vital role. He draws inspiration from Romans 16 to emphasize the collective nature of the church’s mission and the ultimate glory that belongs to Jesus Christ.

Listen to the full version here.

Trinity Anglican Church

In Kris McDaniel’s sermon, he begins by sharing a personal anecdote about getting face surgery and then delves into a discussion of a biblical passage from Matthew 20. The passage features a parable told by Jesus about laborers in a vineyard and their varying expectations and entitlements. McDaniel emphasizes that the story is not primarily about wages but rather about life and the dangers of comparison, expectations, and entitlements.

He breaks down the story into two groups: those for whom things go better than expected and those for whom things are worse than expected. McDaniel warns against falling into a mindset of entitlement and the dangers of comparing ourselves to others, which can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction. He highlights that God is the landowner and that His economy does not conform to human expectations, but rather, it emphasizes generosity and grace.

McDaniel concludes by encouraging self-reflection and posing questions to the congregation about their own experiences with entitlement and comparison. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing God’s faithfulness and provision, even in difficult circumstances, and the need to trust in His abundance.

The sermon ultimately calls for humility, self-examination, and a shift away from an entitlement mindset toward embracing God’s generosity and grace. It ends with a call for confession and communion as a reminder of God’s nourishment and care for His people.

Listen to the full version here.

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