Sermons

 

You can view recent sermons below, or view a complete sortable archiv of past 8th Day Teachings.

To listen to Church of the Saviour Founder Gordon Cosby's teachings, click here.

What L’Arche Has Taught Me about God

John Knechtle

More specifically, what have people with disabilities taught me about God

A Zoom recording of this teaching can be found here.

September 12, 2021

Almost every day, I receive a phone call from Grace.  Grace is a 58-year-old mentally disabled woman who bags groceries for work, is a tennis star in Special Olympics, and who lives with her brother and sister-in-law now that her parents have died.  She is also my younger sister so I have known her since her birth.  She calls to see how I am doing and to say that she “loves me to pieces.” The conversation lasts about a minute but it is a regular, consistent, expression of love that has changed my life.

From Mo Higgs and Eileen Scofield from L’Arche, Washington, to Tony Lobello and Mary Wilson from L’Arche Syracuse, a variety of mentally disabled individuals have changed my life and my understanding and experience of God.

Labor in the Pulpit: El Centro de Obreros y Fe

Carol Bullard-Bates
Members of Faith and Workers Center, El Centro de Obreros y Fe

September 5, 2021
Texts
     Psalm 146
     James 2:1-17

I have been honored to be the Chaplain Organizer for what used to be the Empowerment Faith Center and now is called the Faith and Workers Center, El Centro de Obreros y Fe for over two years. We pray, support each other in our health and with our prayers, work and act for justice. COVID-19 has been a time in our lives where we all had to face the unbelievable, the whole world shutting down because of a terrible plague.  This hit our most vulnerable people the worst.

Knowing our members in the El Centro helped me to see how our country left many people behind. There were stimulus checks for citizens, but not for those who worked hard every day and paid taxes, but who were not citizens. The Psalm says, “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.” It is a shocking thing to me that very few people in Congress thought about the eleven million people who work in the fields to enable us to eat, who keep our buildings and stores and airports and hotels clean, who serve in restaurants, who take care of so many of our children, that they too needed the stimulus checks so much more than most of us in our congregation and others who did not lose their jobs.

Let the Heart Be Abandoned to Christ

Julio Hernandez

August 29, 2021

Texts:
     Mark 7:1-23
     James 1:17-27

Mark 7:8 “Having no regard for the command of God, you hold fast to human tradition.” New English Translation

Click Here for Zoom Recording of Teaching:

  1. Glimpse into the Early Church
    1. Conflicts:
      1. Jewish/Gentile Divide
        1. v. 1-8 Purity and Piety: Where do I belong?
        2. v. 9-13 Property: What belongs to me?
  2. Heart
    1. Inheritance from Greek Philosophy
      1. Divide between the heart and the mind
      2. Distrust of the Heart (Jeremiah 17:9)
        The heart is deceitful above all things
            and beyond cure.
            Who can understand it?
    2. Hebrew Tradition
      1. Entire Interiority
        1. Heart
        2. Soul
        3. Mind
      2. Sound Familiar?
        1. Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
          37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Building a Church and a Nation that is Inclusive

Mark Charles

July 22, 2021

Charles is a Reformed pastor, a Native American activist, public speaker, consultant, and author on Native American issues as well as a journalist, blogger, and computer programmer. He spoke to us about for whom the Biblical narrative was written.

A YouTube presentation of Mark's teaching can be seen here.

A signed copoy of his book, Unsettling Truths - The Ongoing Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery, can be found and purchased here.

How These Crazy Times Can Make Us Better Humans

Teacher: Rev angel Kyodo williams

Sito Sasieta introduces our teacher and links to an interview from which her teaching was  taken: The catholic priest, Richard Rohr, writes, “If something is spiritually true, it will also be true in the physical world, and all disciplines and all religions will somehow be looking at this “one truth” from different angles, goals, assumptions, and vocabulary.”

Ten years ago, I would have distrusted a quote of this nature. Two weeks ago, when I heard today’s teaching, I found myself reveling in how other traditions can enrich the way we enter our tradition, for how fresh language can help us go deeper in Scripture & prayer.

Jesus Gives the Gift of Life

Wendy Dorsey

August 8, 2021
Texts:
     Psalm 78:23-29
     Exodus 16:2-15
     John 6:24-35
     Ephesians 4: 1-16

Zoom recording: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/qVzae1MJ0qYE_1s__G2HYaRDCTNz0nWUXY8hPYo6CPdE-uDIAbN63iyg-yA1oXrU.Zn_ZiBdn7st2hBln?startTime=1627828476000

When I was thinking about the Scriptures you just heard today, I noticed that they are very aligned in their observation of human nature — which hasn’t much changed, it seems, over the past 2,000 years.  We humans tend to get demanding, jealous and ungrateful, especially when stressed!   Even when offered gifts, whether from God or our fellow human beings!   (As a 4 on the Enneagram, for those of you who have studied it, I think I understand the jealousy or envy that comes when someone is exercising their gift and I’m not “as good as” or as gifted at that person.  I may even understand the perfectionism that always notices what’s not there – or not good enough – and leads me to be ungrateful for what is).

The Israelites complain to Moses and Aaron, "if only we had died at the Lord’s hand in Egypt, where we sat around the fleshpots and had plenty of bread to eat!   But you have brought us out into this wilderness to let this whole assembly starve to death!"

Instead of being grateful for Moses and Aaron’s leadership out of the oppression they suffered in Egypt, they complain they have no meat!  Psalm 78 is a retelling of the story of Israel’s rebellion and complaints against God – told repeatedly, over and over again ad nauseum!   It says God was filled with fury and his “anger blazed up against Israel because they put no trust in God…” In the psalm (if you read further than today’s reading), God is repeatedly angered by the people who are in rebellion against him.  But God turns around again and again, and, like a human father with his complaining children, then acts with benevolence toward his spoiled offspring, granting them what they are demanding — “meat and sweets,” all for free.  They said the manna was like a honey wafer.  I probably would have told the people, “Eat prickly cacti – there’s plenty of that where you are there in the wilderness.” I guess God really wanted the children of Israel to survive — so the compassionate side of God, the merciful, forgiving side won out.

Your Strength Is Made Perfect in Weakness

Carol Martin

July 11, 2021
Texts: Mark 6:1-13
           2 Corinthians12:2-10

The lectionary scriptures this week, at least in the gospel and the epistle, are about embracing vulnerability, or in the Holy Spirit’s words to Paul, “Your strength is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus sends out the disciples with just the clothes on their backs and they come back rejoicing about the amazing outcome of casting out demons and healing sick people.  Paul, after a stunning heavenly revelation, receives a thorn in the flesh and is given the paradoxical wisdom: be thankful for your weakness.

Gail and I have been keeping Nathan a bit this week while Matthias is away.  We consider it a great privilege and a lot of fun.  Tuesday, he just would not take a nap even though we took turns rocking him, Gail took him to a darkened room, we played, read books, sang, and did patty cake.  He just squirmed and grinned at us and insisted on his own way.  His behavior is just a perfect image of my resistance to rejoicing in weakness and finding strength in it.

I resist, I squirm, I get busy and distract myself.  I have not yet fully accepted the fact that I am really, really old.  I am just beginning to learn the developmental task of hallowing my diminishments, of finding strength in the increasing weakness of my body and even more, my mind.

Interrupted by Grace

Gail Arnall

June 27, 2021
Text: Mark 5: 21-43

In our scripture today we have a wonderful story of Jesus going about his ministry.  He crosses the Sea of Galilee, and when he gets off the boat, there is a large crowd wanting to hear more from him.  He gets ready to teach them and then a man comes up and says his little daughter is dying and he asks Jesus to come to his house to heal his daughter.  Jesus knows that a lot of people have gone to a lot of trouble to get the venue and set up the sound system for his appearance; furthermore, the crowds have been waiting.  But he is able to change his plans and plans that his followers had for him, in order to go with this man to attend to his daughter.  So, he starts out on his journey.  Then a woman touches his garment and he knows it, and he stops what he is doing and asks who touched him.  He waits.  Everyone else is trying to give him excuses and explanations for what he feels.  But he waits.  And finally, the woman speaks up and tells him her story.  He takes the time to listen and to assure her that her faith has healed her.  About the same time, the father of the sick daughter is told that his daughter has died, so there is no need to go to the man’s house.  Jesus overhears this exchange and says, “Don’t fear; only believe.”  So, he continues his journey along with a few of his close disciples.  But there is a large crowd at the house lamenting the death of the child.  Jesus is not dissuaded.  He says to them, “Stop your weeping.  The child is only sleeping.”  The crowd laughed at his naiveté.  They surely said things like, “Bless his heart.  He wants to help but this is a lost cause.”  Jesus then goes inside and brings the child to life.  The scripture says, they were overcome with amazement.  Jesus said: ”Give the child something to eat, for Pete’s sake.”

God of History, God of Eternity, God of Life

Paul Fitch

June 20, 2021

God of History, God of eternity, God of life, speaking to us, acting through us, in the midst of the storm.

Good morning! Happy (belated) Juneteenth; happy Father’s Day; happy summer solstice! We are blessed to be joining together, before God, in the presence of one another, even though physically we are yet apart.

In the Old Testament reading, God responds, speaking out of the torment of a storm, to Job’s many professions of innocence as he had been subjected to so many afflictions and much slander, even though he considered himself a righteous man. God asks Job,

Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself, I will question you, and you will answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone - while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

In other words, God is telling Job that, in spite of his great efforts to be God’s faithful servant, efforts that are undeterred even in the midst of his “unjust” sufferings, that God has a deeper purpose and Job really doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Mustard-Seed Faithfulness

Alice Benson

June 15, 2021

Texts:
     I Samuel 15:34-16:13
     Mark 4:30-32

The Old Testament scripture lets us know that the youngest and unlikeliest child can be the one to do great things — not the first-born son as usually expected.  Whenever stories like this have things like “seven sons” they make me think they are being used as a parable — and the other version of this story in the Old Testament has David being the seventh, not the 8th

son.  The names of his brothers here all have grand meanings — but David’s name simply means “Beloved.”

Little things can add up.  God can use small things and small acts to change lives.  God can use a young shepherd boy to become a good king. God can use even you and me and this little 8th Day Faith Community to demonstrate the power of love and God, change lives, and bring about the Reign (or Kingdom) of God.

Mark’s gospel was written before the other three, and today’s reading is part of the parables about seeds recorded in that book, with the focus being the Reign of God.

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