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Sermon: Angels Among Us

Angels Among Us Texts: Genesis 28:12-13; Psalm 103:20-22; Mark 1:13 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 1-28-2018) As a young man, I thought talk about angels to be rather silly. The more I read Scripture, my views began to morph. Whether angels are in Jacob’s dream, heading up and down on a divine conveyor belt or are the messengers from God who arrive at Sarah and Abraham’s tent and in the field of Palestinian shepherds or are those sent by God to tend to Jesus when he is alone in the wilderness, angels are often among us. My time at Cove has only reinforced that belief. In her poem, “The World I Live In,” Mary Oliver contends that there is only one way that you an

Sermon: Immediately

Immediately Texts: Jonah 3:1-5; Mark 1:14-20 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 1-21-2018) Mark’s Gospel can leave you breathless. Jesus steps into the Jordan River, is baptized by John, is thrust into the wilderness by a feisty Spirit of God, is tempted by Satan, is delivered by God’s angels, preaches in Galilee after John is arrested, is followed by four fishers who leave all else behind, heads to Capernaum, goes to synagogue on the Sabbath, heals Peter’s mother-in-law, casts out a demon, cleanses a leper and tells him to keep it quiet, while crowds swell like they do on the Washington Mall on July 4th and every last person is amazed. To fuel his rapid fire storyt

Sermon: Precious Lord

Precious Lord Texts: Psalm 139; I Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 22:5 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, 1-14-2018) As a boy, I did not like Psalm 139 (portions found at end of the sermon). I heard it as a threat – that God was some kind of relentless divine watchdog tracking my every step. I already had enough external oversight from two doting parents and a doting grandmother who lived in our home. I did not need or want God as an additional ever-vigilant watchdog parent. Whenever this psalm would be read in church – which seemed like every Sunday – I would cringe. I thought, if God has “searched me and known me,” then I am toast. God must know about the day I faked being sick bec

Sermon: Be It Resolved

Be It Resolved Texts: Genesis 1:1-5; Mark 1:4-11 (Gary W. Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church, Covesville, VA, 1-7-2018) One of the silliest annual traditions I still observe is making New Year’s resolutions. As the clock approaches midnight on December 31, I take one last look at my resolutions for the coming year, lest I forget any. Be it resolved that I will: eat healthier, lose weight, get exercise, read more, watch TV less, be nicer to my family, give more generously, complain about political leaders only on odd number days, invest more wisely. We are now in the seventh day of the New Year and I regret to report that my resolutions are not faring well. In addition to the list I just menti

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