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Sermon: The Real Reformation

The Real Reformation Text: Matthew 22:34-40 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 10-29-2017) Martin Luther posted ninety-five theses on the door of the Wittenburg Castle Church in Germany on October 31, 1517 – 500 years ago on Tuesday! In his pre-Twitter time, these theses not only stimulated conversation within the church, they disturbed an institutional bee hive. Little did Luther know that his attempt to debate practices within his beloved Roman Catholic Church would not only lead to death threats but would give birth to what we know as the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Not long after Luther raised the hackles of Rome in Germany, John

Sermon: Only a test

Only a Test Text: Matthew 22:15-22 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA 10-22-2017) I have a suggestion for the next time you have guests over for dinner. Invite everyone at the table to offer their thoughts on taxes and then sit back and listen. It might result in a calm, serene, respectful conversation that does not last long because everyone agrees with each other. If so, you will have witnessed a miracle at your dinner table. Whether in colonial Boston, first century Palestine, or 21st century America, mention taxes, then stand back and watch the fireworks explode. In the text for today, the always tame topic of taxation is raised by two groups, the Herodians and t

Sermon: An Interview with Jesus

An Interview with Jesus Text: Matthew 21:28-31 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 10-8-2017) All the major networks have preempted regular programming for this exclusive moment. The stage is set with two chairs facing each other. In one chair sits the person who will conduct the interview. In the chair opposite sits Jesus. A dark stage is suddenly lit like noon on a sunny day and the interview begins. The interviewer has her notecards in hand and is poised to ask Jesus everything she has always wanted to ask.. I got this idea of an interview with Jesus from Chuck Campbell who teaches at Duke Divinity School. Years ago, Chuck was a classmate of mine at Union. When I a

Sermon: Leaving Massah and Meribah

Leaving Massah and Meribah Text: Exodus 17:1-7 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 10-1-2017) On this World Communion Sunday, I am leaving Massah and Meribah. I am leaving and I have no desire ever to return. I will not be missed there, because the conditions are already overcrowded in Massah and Meribah. It requires no passport or lots of money to travel there. Mysteriously, no matter where we live now, the trip to Massah and Meribah is always a short one, because Massah and Meribah are as close as our next thought and as near as the next words out of our mouths. We find ourselves in downtown Massah and Meribah whenever we think that God is not living up to her end

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