Sermon: Family Values

Family Values? Text: Genesis 21:8-21 (Gary W. Charles at Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, on 6-25-2017) I am not sure how scholars decide what biblical texts get read on a particular Sunday. I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that they have a list of Bible stories not fit for prime time, that never make into Children’s Bibles and they assign these thorny texts to the summer months, hoping that the faithful will be sunning on the beach while reading a Grisham novel, working in the garden, or enjoying a lazy day away from church. While those scholars who choose these texts are cruising somewhere in the Caribbean, drinking one of the specials of the house with a little umbrella in i

Sermon: The One Who Laughs Last

The One Who Laughs Last Text: Genesis 18:1-15 (Gary Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 6/18/17) The story begins so innocently. Old Abraham is sitting outside in the shade on a blistering hot day while old Sarah is fanning herself inside the tent. Abraham looks up to see three unexpected visitors standing before him. He may be surprised or even leery of these strangers, but you would not know it from his behavior. He does not shout, “Hey, what are you doing on my property?” He does not lunge for his legally registered handgun to defend himself. He does not even ask their names or from where they have come. No, old Abraham gets up and does what good hospitality requires. He

Sermon: Blow

Blow Text: Genesis 1:1-3 (Gary W. Charles at Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 6-11-2017) The year was 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee. The occasion was the trial of a biology teacher, John Scopes. The charge was illegally teaching the theory of evolution. The prosecutor was the three-time Democratic candidate for President, William Jennings Bryan. Using his considerable rhetorical skills, Brian fought fiercely to uphold a recent Tennessee law that made it unlawful [quote] “to teach any theory that denies the story of divine creation as taught by the Bible.” The year was 580 B.C.E. in ancient Babylon. The occasion was the trial of God. The charge was dereliction of duty, having allowed th

Sermon: Finding the Right Word

Finding the Right Word Text: Genesis 11:1-9; John 1:1-8 (Gary W. Charles at Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, on 6-4-2017) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. Then more words came and more words followed after those words and words still keep coming. We are awash in words. Some of them are dreaded words. Doublespeak words. Deadly words. In the beginning was the Word and now there are so many words. Dirty shades deflect the bright light of the newly risen sun. Clothes are wrinkled and matted from a lost battle for sleep in an ER waiting room. Doctors stumble in and stutter and finally say that the pregnancy has miscarried and they cannot

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