Second on the Mount

Second on the Mount

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!

Episodes

July 26, 2021 25 min

“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 can be done. Let us follow Jesus and join with others who believe in him and jo...

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“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 too hard or trying too hard to fix ourselves without attending to our souls and...

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July 6, 2021 21 min

“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 damaged petals. On the contrary, we would celebrate its tenacity. We ...

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June 28, 2021 18 min

“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. But it does always mean relationship, wholeness, shalom. Christ’s kingdom is bre...

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June 21, 2021 17 min

“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 live the rest of the week as God’s adults in the world."

Read the manuscript ...

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June 14, 2021 16 min

“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 loved, when you can live with the joy that is knowledge and faith in God’s grace, un...

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June 7, 2021 19 min

“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, and to care for what is needed to sustain those to come. We would accept limit...

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June 4, 2021 25 min

“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 website: https://www.spres.org/night-of-unknowing/

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May 24, 2021 20 min

“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 at this passage as part of the larger story Mark tells, I wonder what this passa...

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May 17, 2021 25 min

“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 very union of God and Jesus, remember Jesus prays for you. Just as he prayed fo...

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May 12, 2021 19 min

“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 can come to others, we will be able to share something far more valuable than what...

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May 3, 2021 15 min

“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 dependence and reliance on the vine, and he introduces them to a w...

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April 26, 2021 21 min

“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 be still is to begin something new."

Read the manuscript on our website: h...

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April 19, 2021 16 min

“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, it matters if we work for justice and reconciliation because from the evidence...

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April 12, 2021 21 min

“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 this story, Thomas has been named “Doubting Thomas”—and I do not think it is fair. ...

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April 6, 2021 18 min

“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 life with God, we are often afraid to walk through it."

Read the manuscrip...

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March 30, 2021 14 min

“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.org/hosanna/

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March 22, 2021 26 min

“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 bruised because of our certainty and sense of self-righteousness. Maybe what we ...

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March 15, 2021 16 min

"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 you picture it? Paul’s vision of creation in full harmony is cosmic, a...

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March 9, 2021 15 min

"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 we may have done it some other way, the God we worship chose the power ...

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