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St. Christopher's Episcopal Church Dallas
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"Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you." 
Matthew 11:28

Baptism and Healing
The Healing Order of St. Luke offers Prayers of Healing during Communion at the 10am service. 

Father Matt's Memorial Garden

Dedicated Sunday, December 7, 1997

We are at the corner of Lovers Ln. and Central Expressway.

7900 West Lovers Lane, Dallas, Texas 75225

SW Corner of Lovers Lane and North Central Expressway

214 363-2792

Come Worship With Us!
St. Christopher's is a member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.  We have Sunday Eucharistic services at 8:00am and 10:00am.  The 8:00am Eucharist is a Rite I said service.  The 10:00am Eucharist is a Rite II choral service.    Rite I is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of each month at the 10:00 am service.  The Order of St. Luke offers prayers for healing during communion at the 10am Sunday service. We have Meditation on Tuesdays at 10:00am.  A Nursery is provided in the Church during the 10am Sunday service. 

Come Visit Us!

St. Christopher's Episcopal Church is located at 7900 W Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX 75225 (the southwest corner of Lovers Lane and Central Expressway).  Office hours are 9am - 1pm Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am-12pm Thursday. 

Sermon by our Youth on 05/10/2015

In the psalm it says that “the lord has made known his victory,” which means he has made victory for himself and others. This led us to consider one basic question and how all the readings might answer it: What is the Lord’s victory? In the context, victory is basically that God is victorious in helping others. This form of victory benefits not just God, but the others around him. It works like this. God says, “This is my commandment; love one another as I love you.” That means that you should love the other people around you, like God loves you. Christian love has a basic rule: “You are my friends, if you do as I command you.” It is saying that if you obey God, then He will love you and give you forgiveness. This ties to another another basic concept:

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” one of the two commandments on which “Hang all the law and the prophets” 

But humans have a hard time operating this way. In flawed human terms, victory is often thought of as conquest or triumph over another person. One person wins and consequently another person must lose in some way. Humans are driven to seek victory by a spectrum of motives. Humans are typically seeking tangible gain or power over another person. Tangible gain very often takes the form of money. We often feel the need to beat competitors in order to gain a job promotion, to have higher grades, or to win a sports game. The resulting elevated status can be afforded to only a limited number of people.

          It’s also about power. By achieving victory over another person, we are asserting our power over them and proving ourselves superior. This affirms our power and worth. Therefore, ego is a large part of the human concept of victory.

Ego and victory. Hear those terms, and one almost automatically thinks of sports. Sports, although they can be beneficial, can lead to a bad taste in the mouth if the winner does not behave appropriately, with humility, and the understanding that the good of the team must come first. When Dez Bryant flashes the X after a touchdown, it’s as much about him as it is about the team. In basketball, players regularly talk trash to each other and try to humiliate their opponents. For long-term victory to be harvested, the winner must respect an opponent’s valiant efforts and treats them with grace. Furthermore, a bad winner will focus on what they did right, ignoring the accomplishments of their team. Recently soccer star Christiano Ronaldo pouted when he did not score but a teammate did. Contrast this to Lionel Messi, who gave a teammate a penalty kick chance even though Messi could win the league scoring title. Ultimately, victory is a sweet feeling, but we do it no good if we use it the wrong way.

So what is the right way? Jesus said that we should love one another as he loved us.  This is a challenge for humans, because egos make us think of ourselves as better than others and value our own lives more than others. This makes it hard for us to accept that we are the equal of any other.

            People are naturally sinners, but we can stop sinning by turning to God. If we allow God to guide us, we can turn away from sin. This is hard, because our egos can cause us to put ourselves ahead of God. If you think about it, each of the seven deadly sins tie to egotism. Wrath - anger from when we do not get what we want. Avarice – greed and wanting more for ourselves. Sloth – being lazy and not willing to help others when we do not benefit. Pride – feeling excessively good about ourselves and that we are better than others. Lust – having intense desires and prioritizing those above God and the needs of others. Envy – jealousy and wanting more for ourselves. Gluttony – wanting an excess of things for ourselves.

            When our focus is only on ourselves and our egos, we are willing to get where we want at others’ expense. In fact, we even will use religious teachings to serve our own purposes. An example of this is the leaders of radical Islamic movements such as ISIS. They value their own power above all else and willing to take any measures to keep this, even if it means causing great harm to other people. They take isolated laws from the Koran and ignore the larger teachings about love. Meanwhile, they are praised by the jihadists at the expense of the thousands of innocent people who are dying in Syria and Iraq.

It’s not just radicals who can operate this way. Certain books of the Old Testament—in particular Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy—contain long, long lists of laws. They are rules created by humans and are supposed to be what God thinks. Most involve old justice, in which people suffer harsh punishments for violations, and often referred to practices of those who were different than the lawmakers. Most of these rules, such as not eating shellfish or not cutting hair, are ignored because they benefit no one. However, people—including those who claim to be Christian—pick and choose certain laws from the Old Testament to justify their own beliefs. They can use them to construct and enforce systematic oppression whether that be racism, sexism, and homo or transphobia. A scene from the tv show The West Wing captures this idea. A religious group has approached President Bartlett with their concerns about what they consider the immorality of homosexuality. After they quote scripture, the president responds: “I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be?” Throughout the series, President Bartlett’s Christianity influences many of his actions and how he attempts to help all people. He embodies the love expressed in these readings—the love preached by Jesus.

This harshness seen throughout the older books of the Bible does not last into the New Testament. God is no longer the vengeful God who floods the earth. And when Jesus was born human, the stories switch to more tolerant and forgiving messages. The human rules of oppression should no longer apply, for they are not what God wants. Jesus set up new precedents of kindness to follow, and kindness towards one another can be seen throughout the New Testament.

We see this very clearly in this week’s readings. And we gain a clear sense of victory and what it means. It’s not about vanquishing an enemy. The words are very clear in demonstrating a more sympathetic message. Love.  In the readings, we see singing of righteousness and we talk about the Lord’s equity, the joy that will be brought to you as you become faithful. As you recognize his steadfast love.

This New Testament teaches forgiveness and love to all in this world, loving one another being the commandment that Jesus really emphasizes. When we learn and obey this commandment, that is victory. There is more tolerance for human mistakes. Like a parent’s love to their children, the Lord loves his creations unconditionally. Yes, there will be trials to face in life, ones that make us feel so weak that we cannot go on. It can be hard to love certain people. But God tests us out of love, helping us to grow and learn to the point we can love as Jesus loves. In the eyes of God, this is victory.



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