Sermon: The Easter Prayer

The Easter Prayer Text: Luke 24:13-35 (Gary W. Charles at Cove Presbyterian Church on 4-30-2017) Emmaus is not as much a destination as it is a state of mind. Emmaus is “the place we go in order to escape,” writes Fred Buechner, “Emmaus is whatever we do or wherever we go to make ourselves forget that the world holds nothing sacred: that even the wisest and bravest and loveliest decay and die; that even the noblest ideas that people have had – ideas about love and freedom and justice – have always in time been twisted out of shape by people for selfish ends.”[1] For Luke, Emmaus is not just where the two despondent disciples are going; it is what they are doing. They are getting out of town,

Sermon: A Late Easter

A Late Easter John 20:19-31 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 4-23-2017) Sometimes Easter comes late. Actually, oftentimes, Easter comes late. It came late for Thomas, but it also came late for his male colleagues. On Easter morning, the Risen Jesus meets Mary in the garden after which she runs to tell the boys, “I have seen the Lord.” That first Easter night, though, they do not throw the party to beat all parties. They lock the door and bolt it, close the curtains, and huddle together, awash in a puddle of fear, giving Mary’s report almost no credence. Then the Risen Jesus arrives. He is clearly the crucified Jesus, because the marks of torture cannot be missed, b

Sermon: An Early Easter

An Early Easter Text: Matthew 28:1-10 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 4-16-2017) I was a bit annoyed. Renee Grisham was interviewing the novelist, Christina Baker Kline about her new book, “a piece of the world.” In the interview, Kline told us the back story of Christina, actually a historical figure who is the young woman lying awkwardly in the field in Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting, “Christina’s World.” You will see a print of his painting in your pew. Take a brief look at it. Then, Renee did what any good interviewer would do. She asked Ms. Kline to read from her new book. Kline took the book, flipped to the last few pages and started to read. Who does that?!

Sermon: The Real Triumphal Entry

The Real Triumphal Entry Text: Matthew 21:1-11 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 4-9-2017) When Jesus entered the holy city of Jerusalem, there were all kinds of expectations living in that crowd. You are about to listen to an imaginary letter written by a member of a Jewish religious party, the Zealots, who were active in the time of Jesus. The Zealots believed in the power of violence. Some Zealots were no doubt in that Palm Sunday crowd, trusting that Jesus, the Promised Messiah of God, would lead the occupied Jews in a mighty overthrow of Rome. Listen now to this letter to Jacob. Dear Jacob, No life is lived without regrets. As I prepare for evening prayers, I

Sermon: Last Word

If only If only If only Two short words Yet long words Longing words Piercing words Inflamed words Spoken without filters Wrenching words Condemning words Mournful words Spoken by Martha Spoken by Mary Spoken by us I am I am I am Two last words Grave busting words Life-giving words In flesh words Spoken by the last Word Gary W. Charles, April 2, 2017 (inspired by John 11:1-45) Last Word Text: John 11:1-45 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 4-2-2017 If you want to make lots of money in the movie business today, dust off an old Marvel comic book and resurrect an action superhero. Along with remakes of the classics – Superman, Superwoman, Wonder Woman, the Incredible Hu

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