The Rev. Ken Kesselus, author of John E. Hines: Granite on Fire (Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, 1995), is retired from full-time, active ministry and lives with his wife, Toni, in his native home, Bastrop, Texas.
Sermons and Bible Studies
[RCL]: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28 Do you remember the children’s puzzle game called What’s Wrong with This Picture? Hearing the odd confrontation between Jesus and the woman in today’s gospel reading might well provoke us to ask, “What’s wrong with this picture?” Jesus and his disciples went into […]
[RCL]: Genesis 18:1-15, (21:1-7); Psalm 116:1, 10-17; Romans 5:1-8; Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23) Twelve. Twelve is one of those rare numbers to which people have for centuries attributed special significance. We give a special name for twelve – a dozen. More interestingly for us, it is a very significant number in the Bible, used around 187 […]
[RCL]: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; Hebrews 12:18-29; Luke 13:10-17 Harvard Professor Hugh O’Doherty says that all conflict is about power and control, and in fact, a great deal of other human activity involves power and control in one way or another. Two of today’s scripture readings bear out this reality. The gospel’s central issue focuses […]
Today, it’s all about lambs and sheep. Don’t we like driving by a farm or ranch and seeing the cute, docile creatures in a field? Sometimes, wouldn’t we like to stop and feed them like Jesus told Peter to do? Don’t we just love cozying up to little lambs in the petting zoo? And don’t […]
Consider your condition in life. Are you relatively well off financially? Are you secure, with an abundance of material possessions? Do you often eat out, sometimes in expensive restaurants? Do you have a comfortable home? Do you enjoy life? Are you well thought of in your church, neighborhood, and community? Do you have a lot […]
In today’s Gospel, a man with many possessions encountered Jesus. His wealth of possessions is central to the message. Possessions – are they good or bad? Blessings or hindrances? Deficits or potential assets? Like many aspects of life, it all depends. But, perhaps, the more important questions are: What is this Gospel story all about? […]
In today’s gospel, we hear the intriguing story of Jesus’ disciples trying to stop a man who had been casting out demons in Jesus’ name. They seem to have become especially upset because the offender was not one of them. In the eyes of the disciples, he was not part of the inner circle, and […]
The esteemed 20th-century theologian Karl Barth [pronounced “Bart”] reportedly advised preachers to prepare sermons with the Bible in one hand and a current newspaper in the other. Obviously, he wanted the Bible to inform us and advise us, for good or bad, about what is going on in our time. Today, a magazine article satisfies […]
The easiest way for a preacher to deal with the challenging story in today’s Gospel reading might be to understand it as simply a metaphor for events we already know well – another tale of deadly confrontation between Jesus and the Jewish leadership of his day. As we heard at the end of the passage, […]
What follows is largely based on the teachings of esteemed New Testament scholar John Knox, who wrote extensively about the context of today’s Epistle. Before examining the Romans passage, however, let us focus on the very familiar story in today’s Gospel – the encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well. How did we […]
Many of us learned to sing these words at summer camp. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy Down in my heart (Where?) Down in my heart (Where?) Down in my heart I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy Down in my heart Down in my heart to stay Is this merely a child’s song, […]
In many dioceses, this month marks an important time for annual meetings in congregations. At these times, we necessarily focus on “the Church” – how things have been going for the last year and what we plan for the next year. But at such meetings, we also often pause to remind ourselves about what the […]
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