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Second on the Mount

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Second on the Mount

Second Presbyterian Church

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No matter where you are on the journey of faith, God’s Word has something to say to you. Second on the Mount is a collection of sermons from Second Presbyterian Church on Mountain Avenue in Roanoke, VA. Listen to the encouraging words of ministers George Anderson, Elizabeth Link, Ben Brannan, and occasional guests as we journey together, finding direction by following Jesus. We hope you’ll return to this podcast, visit our website www.spres.org for more, or visit us in person!
 
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show series
 
“What's Love Got to Do With It” – Mark 12:28-34 Sermon by guest preacher the Rev. Dr. Brian K. Blount from Sunday, October 31, 2021. Dr. Blount is President and Professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA and Charlotte, NC. He is a renowned New Testament scholar and author of a commentary on the Gospel of Mark. “To love …
 
"Reimagined: Mission" – Mark 16:1-8Part X of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, November 21, 2021. "What are we to hear in all this? Maybe if we are looking for Jesus, it won’t be in some house that he has in heaven, but in the midst of our lives. . . . out in the world where character matters―the neighbo…
 
"Reimagined: Prayer" – Mark 14:32-42Part IX of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by the Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, November 14, 2021. “In [Mark 14:36 Jesus] joins all of us who have prayed to escape suffering, prayed for healing, prayed for a way through, only to face the very suffering, disease, or dead end we feared. ‘Yet not wha…
 
"Reimagined: Anointing" – Mark 14:1-11Part VIII of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from All Saints Sunday, November 7, 2021. "It is the extravagance of hope, of faith. When the woman breaks the alabaster jar and anoints Jesus’ head, she is letting something out. She does something physical to express something pers…
 
"Reimagined: Commitment" – Mark 10:17-31 Part VII of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by The Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, October 24, 2021. "Transitions are hard. Transitions involve change, and change involves loss, and loss involves grief. But the thread of God’s love runs through it all. Love is the basis of commitment. Love is the call.…
 
"Reimagined: Inheritance" – Mark 10:13-16 Part VI of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, October 17, 2021. "Brothers and sisters, we have work to do. . . . Our Lord Jesus says, 'Let the little children come to me. Do not stop them.' It is our job to do the same. To welcome those children, to welcome …
 
"Reimagined: Confession" – Mark 8:27-38Part V of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, October 10, 2021. "Then, Jesus asks them a second question: 'Who do you say that I am?' That’s when Peter blurts out what we, the readers of Mark have known since the very first verse, but no one in the story has said out …
 
"Reimagined: Meal" – Mark 6:30-44Part IV of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by The Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, October 3, 2021. "By reimagining meals as an experience of the divine in community, our meals might look more like this great banquet—a meal where all are welcome, just as they are, just as you are, a meal to remember and do, a m…
 
"Reimagined: House" – Mark 2:13-17 Part III of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, September 26, 2021. "Wherever Jesus goes, he turns norms and expectations upside-down. From the outside, Mark’s house might look simple―but looking in, as the Pharisees saw, it is a glorious scene not just of a hodgepo…
 
"Reimagined: Call" – Mark 1:14-20, 2:13-14Part II of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, September 19, 2021. "...we can remember that being called by Jesus is being called into fellowship with him and with each other. It is to be in fellowship with a cause: to live by, and witness to, the good news of God’…
 
"Reimagined: Baptism" – Mark 1:1-11Part I of the sermon series, "Reimagined." Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Rally Day Sunday, September 12, 2021. "The moment of Jesus’ baptism at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel has the shape of Jesus’ ultimate destination in the Gospel; the shape of the cross. . . . During the rest of the story of Mark’s Gos…
 
“Labor of Faith” – James 2:1-10, 14-17 Sermon by The Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, September 5, 2021. "James urges his readers to adopt a whole-hearted faith, one that is lived out, acted upon, and bestowed to those whom God has shown particular care, the widows and orphans. James says, 'God has chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in …
 
“Salvation to a Soundbite” – John 3:1-17 Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, August 29, 2021. "If God were to make God’s love conditional, then we would have tremendous power. Then we could negotiate, we could threaten to reject God’s love, we could even tell God to get lost. But when God just loves us, steadfastly and unconditional…
 
“Dress Code” – Ephesians 6:10-20 Sermon by The Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, August 22, 2021. "It’s true, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with so much out of our control. We know how the ultimate story ends, but it is God’s to write. So, in the meantime, as we head out to face the evils of our world, we have been given new ways to wage war. We have t…
 
“Right” – Genesis 1:31a, Psalm 133, Luke 7:36-50 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, August 15, 2021. "Last Sunday, I said that because human fallibility makes growth and discovery possible, there is a certain rightness to being wrong. Well, these Pharisees show that there can be a certain wrongness to being right. Jesus sees what the Pha…
 
“Wrong” – II Samuel 12:1-7a, Acts 9:1-9 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, August 8, 2021. "We have to survive and we should seek to thrive in life, so of course we need to spend most of our time in a zone of rightness. We need to act on what we think we know, and we need to take stands about what we believe is moral, ethical, and import…
 
“The Gift of Why” – Ephesians 4:1-16 Sermon by The Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, August 1, 2021. "As you share stories of what God has done in your life, through love and mercy and grace, I hope you will come to see the unique God-given gifts of your calling, so that you may find your purpose, the reason you do what you do—your Why—and live it out.…
 
“Institutions” – I Corinthians 12:27-31 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, July 25, 2021. "I have multiple goals in preaching this sermon about boring good news. I want us to reflect on our need as members of the Roanoke community, as citizens of this country, and as members of the human race to think twice before giving up on, or turnin…
 
“Gospel” – Galatians 1:11-12 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, July 18, 2021. "We are known, we are loved, we are forgiven, and we are called. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s open our eyes to what is good or can be good in us and around us and join in spreading the goodness to others. So much more of what reflects Jesus’ heart…
 
“Sheep Without a Shepherd” – Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, July 11, 2021. "The good news is not only that Jesus was attentive to his disciples then, he is attentive to us now. He sees what is pushing and pulling at us as we go throughout our day. He knows what will happen if we fall into the trap of working…
 
“A Rose from Concrete” – Mark 6:1-6 Sermon by The Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, July 4, 2021. "The townspeople looked at Jesus as a rose that grew from concrete: 'Who does he think he is? He was born of us; he grew up here with us. Nobody amounts to anything from here.' Tupac would reply, 'You wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from concrete had d…
 
“Life Restored” – Mark 5:21-43 Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, June 27, 2021. "Today, we are urged to consider where Christ’s healing meets us. Where is his mercy bringing grace? How is his love mending the broken? Who is he calling beloved? Where are you in this story? The healing, the restoration doesn’t always mean the cure. …
 
“Play” – Genesis 2:1-3, Matthew 18:1-4 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, June 20, 2021. "In a sense, we come into worship to play. We leave behind the judgement, expectations and supervision of the other six days and we playact. As God’s children, we practice the skills of association by imagining and acting out what it might mean to li…
 
“Faith in the Ordinary” – Mark 4:26-34 Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, June 13, 2021. "The kingdom is like a very small seed, often overlooked, unremarkable. It appears in the parts of your life that are not the things you’re most proud of―but when it comes, it takes over everything. When you know you’re forgiven and you’re love…
 
“Outside” – Proverbs 6:6-11, 30:24-33 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, June 6, 2021. "I imagine that the beginning wisdom of such an informed life would know that to live well is to live in harmony with what else needs the same air to breathe, water to drink, and land on which to live. We would learn to be grateful for what sustains us…
 
“Night of Unknowing” – John 3:1-21 Sermon by The Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, May 30, 2021. "Friends, this is the faith of unknowing. The ability to sit in the dark, reach out a hand, and be lead. This is the faith of unknowing we are called to, and the hand we are to reach for is Jesus Christ’s, the hand of God." Read the manuscript on our websit…
 
“Storms” – Mark 4:35-41 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Pentecost, May 23, 2021. "There are two ways to hear this passage: on its own or as part of a story. To hear this passage on its own, with no idea of what just happened or what is about to happen, is to hear a stand-alone story of a miracle and a call to faith. . . . However, in looking …
 
“Sent” – John 17:6-19 Sermon by The Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, May 16, 2021. "As you respond to God’s calling and sending, as you encounter struggles in this crazy world in which we are to love and serve, as you wrestle with your own faults and failures and questions of faith, as you stand up and witness to the truth of the gospel, embodying the…
 
“Eulogy” – Philippians 3:1-11 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, May 9, 2021. "If we know that God can work something good even in our flawed hearts and lives, then we can find real purpose simply in seeking to reflect God’s goodness to others for their sake. Whatever we do, it will be flawed, but maybe when we selflessly live so good ca…
 
“Abide in Me” – John 15:1-8 Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, May 2, 2021. "Throughout the gospel of John, Jesus has used a number of 'I am' statements to help explain who he is and how he is connected to God. . . . Into this pastoral moment, Jesus offers one last image, 'I am the vine.' He introduces this idea of extraordinary de…
 
“Awe” – Genesis 1:26, Mark 3:1-6 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, April 25, 2021. "Out of the stillness of awe then comes the movement of our lives as we go back into the world that is created and live. That’s true worship―when to stop is then to stir, to wonder is then to work, to forget is then to find, to rest is then to restore, to…
 
“Immortality” – I Corinthians 15:1-11 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, April 18, 2021. "The bodily resurrection reveals in this material world what is eternally true about God. To be in relationship with the eternal God is to be about what Jesus is about in his life. So, it matters how we treat the earth, it matters how we treat others…
 
“The Twin Renamed” – John 20:19-31 Sermon by The Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, April 11, 2021. "I feel for Thomas. Every Second Sunday of Easter, the lectionary brings us to this passage from John’s gospel. We read of the disciples painted as faithful, and the unwillingness to believe and the skepticism of Thomas. As history has told and retold thi…
 
“Life” – Mark 16:1-8 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. "Maybe fate or providence has done us a favor by leaving us stuck here at the end of Mark’s Gospel because that is where we get stuck in life—stuck between fear pulling us back and hope pulling us forward. For it is true, isn’t it? When the door is wide open to…
 
“Hosanna” – Mark 11:1-11 Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from the Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021. "The paradox of this day—this week—is not lost on us. God on a donkey. Dying to live. A suffering king. Good Friday. These paradoxes are precisely what give Jesus’ story its shape, its weight." Read the manuscript on our website: http://www.spres.o…
 
“Truth” – John 18:33-38 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from the fifth Sunday in Lent, March 21, 2021. "...to some degree our passage from John’s Gospel is about all of us. We are all to some degree members of herds with some kind of group-think going on where we sometimes cannot see the truth even when it is standing in front of us, battered and …
 
"Not Like Everyone Else" – Ephesians 2:1-10 Sermon by The Rev. Jen Brothers from the fourth Sunday in Lent, March 14, 2021. "[Paul's vision] is a vision of the church when we are at our best—when we understand ourselves as beloved, forgiven, and co-raised with Christ to become co-conspirators with God’s plan to restore all creation to unity. Can yo…
 
"And Follow Me" – Mark 8:31-38 Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from the third Sunday in Lent, March 7, 2021. "For Mark, and for Jesus in Mark, there is no understanding of greatness or discipleship apart from the cross. Only in its shadow do we see that God’s power is not displayed in coercive force, but in wondrous, sacrificial love. Though…
 
“Connection” – Philippians 1:3-11 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from the second Sunday in Lent, February 28, 2021. "Paul’s view that the world is broken by sin is reflected throughout his writings. He writes of the waste that comes of greed and hoarding, of abuses of power and of weakly accepting the abuse. He writes of broken promises, broken h…
 
“Journey to Wholeness” – Genesis 3:8-19, Romans 6:1-5, 11 Sermon by The Rev. Jen Brothers from the first Sunday in Lent, February 21, 2021. "As long as we have breath, we get to walk toward the new creation which God has birthed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. So, let us bravely face our individual and corporate sins. Let us nam…
 
“Authority” – John 16:12-15 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from February 14, 2021. "We are given a way to hear the voice of the Spirit that Jesus, as our friend who loves us, wants us to hear. It is the voice that tells us to love others in the way he loves us. That is the voice that has final authority." Read the manuscript on our website: http:…
 
“A Single Act” – Mark 1:21-28 Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from January 31, 2021. "The exorcism of the unclean spirit is Jesus’ first act in Mark. Jesus crosses into those spaces where no one else is willing to go. That’s who God is―that’s what God does. Jesus has ushered in God’s kingdom, opened up a future of possibility and hope, and e…
 
“Freedom” – I Corinthians 9 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from January 24, 2021. "'We live in the land of the free,' say we as Americans. But as Christians, should we not then choose how to be free? Being free in Christ is to say 'No' to what is false, what destroys, what is evil and what is selfish; and to say 'Yes' to what is true, what heals,…
 
“The Voice to Trust” – Mark 1:1-15 Sermon by The Rev. Jen Brothers from January 17, 2021. "God’s reign has come near, Jesus said. And then he came closer to show us what God’s reign looks like. He healed diseases of the body and mind, he brought dignity to women and immigrants. He challenged the civic values and religious practices that created bou…
 
“Order” – Genesis 1:1-10, Mark 5:1-20 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from January 10, 2021. "Do not wait for chaos to be calmed in the nation before finding order within. Right now, we can center ourselves on God’s love, we can remind ourselves of the virtues that should guide us, and we can commit ourselves to making a witness without insisting …
 
“Happiness” – Matthew 5:3-12 Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from January 3, 2021. "How did we handle the circumstances of the year? ...was it possible that some of us could have been happier even under the circumstances? Jesus says we can, but to get what it is he is saying is possible―what he might even be offering as a gift to us―we need to und…
 
“About the Child” – Luke 2:22-40 Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from December 27, 2020. "As we approach a new year, may we be reminded of the call to lean into the future with hope. We know not what 2021 holds for us, but we do know that God goes before us. The trials of this life aren’t easy. The trials of this past year have not been easy…
 
"Love" – Matthew 1:18-25Part IV of the Advent sermon series, "What Can't Wait?" Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from the fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20, 2020. "But God wants more of Joseph than good behavior. In fact, God wants more goodness than Joseph can willfully give on his own. And what happens next can only be described as a conversio…
 
"Joy" – Isaiah 35:1-10, Luke 1:46-55Part III of the Advent sermon series, "What Can't Wait?" Sermon by The Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from the third Sunday of Advent, December 13, 2020. "A word of joy may seem out of place this year. But it is exactly the word a people of faith are commanded to proclaim. Ours is the joy of Isaiah in the exile. Ours i…
 
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