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Hilton Head Plantation
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

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Sunday
Apr292018

Blessed are ... those who mourn

Grieving or mourning is a very real and very painful emotion for most human beings. The most serious mourning is usually the result of the death of someone who held a unique place in our lives: a spouse, a parent, a child, a close friend, even a public figure we did not know personally, but whom we greatly admired. For example, some older people are not yet over the deaths of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, even though both died over fifty years ago.

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Sunday
Apr222018

Blessed are ... the poor in spirit

Before we consider the first of the eight Beatitudes, we need to ponder for a few moments the context in which Jesus made these statements. They are the opening words of what the Church has always called “The Sermon on the Mount.” For three complete chapters, from Matthew 5 through Matthew 7, at least according to the person who wrote this particular Gospel, Jesus made some extraordinary observations about numerous subjects. Many scholars believe that Matthew probably put this collection of sayings together to help us remember them better. The fact is that Luke also has many of these exact sayings, but he does not string them together in just one place as Matthew does. Mark also has a few of these teachings scattered here and there throughout his Gospel.

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Sunday
Apr082018

God, Unconditional Love, and Us

All of us love many people with partiality: those who love us back in like manner, and those who are cute or cuddly or loveable, particularly small children or babies. That, however, is not the kind of love that Jesus was talking about in the Sermon on the Mount or Paul was talking about in I Corinthians 13. Agape love is unconditional love, impartial love, love which never demands anything of anybody. It is offered without the expectation of anything in return. For this reason Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. Thus could Paul say, “Love is patient and kind; it is not arrogant or boastful, it does not insist on its own way. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

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Sunday
Apr012018

Revelation and Resurrection

Today we come to the sixth in a series of six sermons, all of which are based on the Gospel of Luke. In each of the previous sermons, we looked at events which are found only in the Third Gospel. Today we see the same pattern yet again. In this account of the resurrected Jesus, as in all three of the other Gospels, there are considerable ambiguities in what is reported. It is possible they were intentionally meant to be ambiguous. For example, in some of the stories, Jesus clearly seems to have been physically resurrected. In others, the resurrection seems to be entirely spiritual, and not physical.

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Sunday
Mar252018

The Most Majestic Day in Jesus' Life

This is the fifth in a six-part series of sermons on the courageous journey Jesus took with his disciples on the way from the Galilee to Jerusalem. Normally that walk would take perhaps a week to ten days, depending on where Jesus was when he began his trek to the south. But, according to Luke’s Gospel, we may deduce that the journey took a few weeks to perhaps two or three months. We deduce that because the expedition begins at the end of the ninth chapter of Luke’s Gospel and ends in the middle of the nineteenth chapter. Nearly everything Luke writes about in that portion of his story of the life of Jesus is found only in Luke, and nowhere else in any of the other three Gospels.

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