Monday, April 27, 2015

Sermon Easter 4 - April 26, 2015

Easter 4B – April 26, 2015
St Stephen Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, PA
The Rev. Maurice C Frontz III STS

It seems that every Christian of a certain generation
used to memorize the 23rd Psalm.
Whenever I read it in a nursing home,
I would always use the King James translation,
rather than the newer ones we use in worship,
because it was sure that half of the group
would be reciting it with me,
some who hardly knew where they were
and almost never spoke
praying  it reverently with eyes closed,
transported back to who knows when.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Third Sunday of Easter - Sermon 4/19/2015

Easter 3B – April 19, 2015
Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48
St Stephen Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh PA
The Rev. Maurice C. Frontz III, STS

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

The resurrection of Jesus is not a happy ending.
We think that the story is neatly wrapped up in a bow.
The disciples are hidden away in fear and grief and guilt,
and then the risen Jesus appears,
and they first tremble with fear and then rejoice in wonder.
But this does not mean a happy ending,
if only because nothing is ended.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sermon Second Sunday of Easter - Seminarian Chris Wendel

Easter 2, Cycle B
Acts 4:32-35  •  Psalm 133  •  1 John 1:1-2:2  •  John 20:19-31
Rev. Sem. Christopher Daniel Wendel
To the congregation of St Stephen Lutheran Church, Scott Twp, Pittsburgh, PA

            In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
When I was a boy, I didn’t really have much to fear.  I mean, sure, I had the normal 3 or 4-year-old fear of the dark, fear of skinning my knees or getting into trouble; but I, like many my age, felt secure, and able, and empowered.  And that bliss lasted until I was 7 or 8 and put under the care of my older cousin for a few hours… a couple hours that seemed like days.  As our parents left the house, I heard those infamous last words, “You wanna see something cool?”  Knowing my cousin as I do now, I realize he wasn’t trying to inflict deep scars on my psyche; he was just being a 12-year-old boy, and being a 7-year-old boy, I absolutely wanted to see something cool.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Your Questions Please! 'Alleluia' or 'Hallelujah?'

You say hallelujah, I say alleluia; let’s NOT call the whole thing off![1]

We fasted from the word alleluia during Lent.[2] In Easter, we feast; our worship is full of alleluias! Or is it hallelujahs? Someone recently asked me: why two different spellings of the word?

The word hallelujah translates from Hebrew to ‘Praise the Lord!’ It is a plural imperative of the verb hālal, ‘praise,’ with the object yāh, (an abbreviated form of YWWH, the Hebrew word for the God of Israel, which is never pronounced by Jews.) It is used in both Jewish and Christian liturgies to this day.[3]

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Sunday Sermon - April 5, 2015

The Resurrection of our Lord – Easter Day: April 5, 2015
Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2; 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Mark 16:1-8
St Stephen Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Rev. Maurice C. Frontz III STS

It was one of those nights that you wake up about 1:30 a.m.
and you want to go back to sleep immediately,
but you’ve been through this before,
and you know that you’re going to be up until at least 4:15.
You know what kind of nights I am talking about.
You get up and get some water to drink
and maybe you eat something.
You might turn on the television or surf the internet
to get away from the flood of thoughts that close in in the dark:
the adult equivalent of the childhood monster in the closet.
Regrets, fears, dreams, hopes, desires, wants, needs.
Things to do that you can’t do now because it’s the middle of the night.
Trying to figure a way through conflicts you cannot resolve.
Rehearsing conversations which one will never have,
in which one delivers a really crushing remark
that silences your tormentor;
or perhaps you rehearse hearing the remark that crushes and silences you.
Worrying about things you can’t do anything about –
the powers of the world, the thoughts and actions of others.
Alone with the voices until one finally falls asleep again,
only to be awakened by the alarm which comes far too early,
to face the dawn which breaks whether one has slept or not.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Three Days (The Sacred Triduum)

Maundy Thursday                    7:30 pm                   Thurs. Apr. 2
Good Friday                            12:30 pm/7:30 pm     Fri. Apr. 3
Easter Vigil                              6:30 pm                   Sat. Apr. 4
EASTER SUNDAY                     10:30 am                 Sun. Apr. 5
    (Easter Breakfast 9:00 am, Children’s Egg Hunt 9:30 am)