Coming soon: download and print access to sermons preached prior to May 2020.
Audio versions of many of our past sermons are also available at SoundCloud where you may listen on your computer or download sermons to your phone. Subscribe to our audio sermons through TuneIn here. If you use iTunes, Stitcher, or another podcast service, subscribe to “St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Durham, NC”.
Video Worship Services and Sermons
If you are looking for our 10am Sunday worship service, visit our Facebook page. After the service, the video will remain available for later viewing. Currently this video service is virtual Eucharist only, with music, and the sermon follows in a separate video. The video link is additionally embedded in each sermon posting as listed on the home page of this site following the Facebook broadcast.
Sermon Blog Posts back to May 2020
by the Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber This morning I want to talk about the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch from Acts 8:26-40. The book of the Acts of the Apostles is the story of the very first Christians. What did the followers of Jesus DO after he died? Acts tells the stories of … Continue reading Following Philip in Discipleship and Apostleship | May 2, 2021
by the Rev. James B. Craven III In the name of God- Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Amen It was an enormous privilege for me to study under Professor Roland Murphy. Roland was a Carmelite Roman Catholic priest who grew up in Chicago. His parents came from Ireland, which Roland called the Holy Land. Roland … Continue reading The Stories We Believe | April 25, 2021
by the Rev. Laura Thornton Our gospel today begins with a startling appearance by Jesus. During the fifty days of Easter, we hear accounts of Jesus appearing to followers, and their realizations that he was with them again. First it was the women at the tomb, last week it was the disciples and Thomas who … Continue reading Joy and Disbelief | April 18, 2021
by Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber This morning at St. Luke’s we read the earliest account of the first Easter day. Each of the 4 Gospels has their own version of the resurrection. All of them include one or more women going to tend the body of Jesus, and finding an empty tomb. But the details … Continue reading Fear Doesn’t Win: Easter Sermon 2021
Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber “…unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life will lose it…” John 12:24b-25 This week, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the idea of a grain of … Continue reading A Grain of Wheat, Split Open | March 21, 2021
by the Rev. James B. Craven III In the name of God – Father Son & Holy Spirit. Amen. I miss all of you. I am tired of an entire year without church, at least without church as we knew it and will again. I worry I will be unable to recognize some of … Continue reading Coming Back Together | March 14, 2021
By Rev. Laura Thornton Jesus does not just lash out at corruption, he pushes against the larger system of religious structure in the temple. He brings the whole thing to a stand still “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”
by the Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber May only God’s Word be spoken and only God’s Word be heard. Both today’s Old Testament reading and our Gospel have name changes in them. So today, let’s talk about the power of names. In Genesis 17, God talks to Abram for the fifth time in scripture, and in … Continue reading The Power of Names | February 28, 2021
by Rev. Susan Bennett The first Sunday in Lent is always the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Always. Matthew and Luke go into poetic detail about the powers and the riches and the status that Satan dangles before Jesus in his attempt to derail Jesus’ ministry before it gets started. But not Mark. In … Continue reading Wild Beasts and Angels | February 21, 2021
by Dr. Sam Laurent, Campus Minister for the Episcopal Center at Duke If I’m being honest—and I think that’s the general expectation here—the transfiguration always puzzles me. Jesus takes some disciples up on top of a mountain, and he begins to glow a dazzling white. Elijah and Moses appear next to him. From a cloud, … Continue reading Down From the Mountaintop | February 14, 2021
by Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber Jesus has been having a busy day this first day of his ministry in Mark’s gospel. It began with teaching in the synagogue. Everyone was amazed with his authority as he taught. Then, right there inside the sanctuary, he removed an unclean spirit from a man. And in today’s reading, … Continue reading What is mine? What is for now? | February 7, 2021
by the Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber Today’s gospel tells the story of the first act of ministry Jesus does in the Gospel of Mark. Jesus was baptized, he spent 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan, he gathered a few disciples, and then he goes into the synagogue to teach. While Jesus was … Continue reading Fighting Evil | January 31, 2021
by Rev. Jim Craven In the name of our God-Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Amen. In over 35 years as an ordained person, I don’t recall ever having so much difficulty preparing a sermon, and I doubt I am alone. I pray regularly for folks here at St. Luke’s, for folks in prison, for … Continue reading A Sermon for January 2021 | January 24, 2021
By Laura Thornton, Through Samuel’s story, we see transformation and understand there is work to do before we reach a new beginning.
by the Rev. James B. Craven III More than 300,000 deaths so far in this country. More deaths every day than at Pearl Harbor or 9/11. A country more polarized or divided than at any time since the Civil War more than 150 years ago. Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas without the family. Baseball and … Continue reading A Christmas Day Sermon | December 25, 2020
by Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber There is something about this year that has helped me insert myself into the Jesus Birth Narrative. I’m bonding with Mary this year. I have been taking time for imaginative prayer and really putting myself in the scene with Mother Mary. There are 2 moments that have really captured my … Continue reading Touching Foreheads With God | December 24, 2020
by the Rev. James B. Craven III Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. That prayer, which most likely … Continue reading About Mary | December 20, 2020
On the Third Sunday of Advent we light a candle for Joy.
An invitation to an Advent of pointing to both plague and promise in your own life.
Jesus says: Don’t Judge, and Don’t be Overwhelmed.
What if these Kingdom of God parables were not about God, but about us? How do we need to live in order to prepare for and live into the Kingdom of God?
Bishop Hodges-Copple’s sermon for our regular Bishop’s Visit.
Use a basic improv tool to commit yourself more fully to living into your baptismal covenant.
Why and how we pray.
Today we celebrate St. Luke’s Day together/alone, by calling to mind people who heal and people who need healing, and by inviting greater healing into our own lives.
Peace in the midst of chaos, life in the shadow of death.
This parable of the vineyard reminds us to be fruitful, especially in times like these.
Violence is in the Bible and right here in Durham. How can we call the breath of life into the dry bones of death?
The parable of the workers in the vineyard calls us to re-evaluate our owneconomy, to value people over productivity. Matthew 20: 1-16 By Sam Laurent, PhD Let’s talk economics, old school. The Greek word oikos, which means“house” or “home” is the root word for our English word “economy.” We getit by way of the Greek … Continue reading Economics and Freedom
Forgiveness is hard. God will help.
We are waking to many societal inequities. We can heal ourselves and our community by investing in prayer, study and action.
Love will get us past the pandemic.
Today’s Gospel models the value of investing in close, healthy relationships.
Our words matter! We hear this in today’s reading from Matthew. Here we find Jesus teaching that words can defile the body. He tells us that it is not what goes
into the mouth that matters, but instead what comes out. Our Christian journey calls for us to break free of the stories we have been told about our place, our power, and our privilege.
When Jesus says, “you of little faith” what does that really mean?
Remember the mustard seed from last week, or better yet, the yeast that leavens bread. Unseeably small granules that as a collective breathe out and inflate loaves of bread. This is literal inspiration, the blowing-in of life from the tiniest corners of the creation. Jesus, one person amidst the crowds, is building the kingdom of God one person at a time.
By the Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber May only God’s Word be spoken, and only God’s Word be heard. Jesus is a funny guy. Do you ever think so? Like in today’s Gospel reading, he is throwing parables fast and furious at the crowd: “Hey Y’all, get this! The Kingdom of God is like a mustard … Continue reading Being the Field | July 26, 2020
Rev. Kate Spelman is the Aging With Pride Program Specialist at AgeOptions in Oak Park, IL.
By El Nealson “Lord, may the word that goes out from my mouth not return to me empty.” Often these past months I have found myself praying something similar to this: May I say words. May I say the right words. May they bring abundance, may they bring joy and peace. May they bring equality … Continue reading Sermon for Youth Sunday | July 12, 2020
The 4th of July always brings out complicated feelings in me. I am grateful for the freedom I have, and the ease I have living in this land. And yet, I cannot feel my freedom without also remembering the genocide of those who first lived on these lands.
by Phillip Bass May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts beacceptable to you O’ Lord. Amen. On this Sunday last year, I stood among those gathered together at St. Luke’s, and shared a sermon in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. If you will remember, those … Continue reading Prophecy in the Time of COVID | June 28, 2020
By the Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber May only God’s word be spoken, and only God’s word be heard. This morning’s Gospel reading from the 10th chapter of Matthew is a rough, combative passage.It is a call to resistance and perseverance. It is a passage for a time such as this, June of 2020, as we … Continue reading Setting Down Privilege to Pick Up the Cross | June 21, 2020
Today’s gospel reading is Matthew 9:35-10:23. It begins with Jesus going to the surrounding cities and villages, proclaiming the good news and healing the sick.
But there was too much work for him to do, so he commissioned his apostles, gave them power to heal, and sent them out to continue the work.
Today is Trinity Sunday, the feast in the church year where we honor our Triune God and task preachers, like myself, to explicate just exactly how we worship One God in Three Persons.
Join me in proclaiming the messiness of life. Join me in proclaiming both lament and celebration this Pentecost weekend.
By the Rev. Dr. Helen Svoboda-Barber May only God’s Word be spoken, and only God’s word be heard. John 14:15-21 Our reading from this morning’s gospel of John picks up in the midst of Jesus saying lots and lots about the Holy Spirit, which in the New Revised Standard Version translation of the Bible is … Continue reading The Practice of the Presence of the Paraclete | May 17, 2020
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