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 for more, or visit us in person!


October 3, 2022 18 min

"The Man Who Said Thank You" – Luke 17:11-19

Sermon by the Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from World Communion Sunday, October 2, 2022. "At first glance, this is a healing story. Ten men were healed, and one man said, 'Thank you.' But on a deeper level, our story is about gratitude from an unlikely place. . . . And it’s about the kingdom of God. It tells us something important about who is invited, who belongs, and wh...

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"Moral Joy" – Philippians 2:1-11

Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, September 25, 2022. "The Gospel doesn’t promise happiness. The promise is for a life with God, and that comes with an 'Uh oh!' as much as an 'Oh boy!' . . . When happiness is the promised blessing of faith, then being unhappy is just one more thing to feel guilty about. Here’s the problem: We speak of God’s blessings, and then...

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September 20, 2022 15 min

"Who Counts?" – Luke 15:1-10

Sermon by the Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, September 18, 2022. "In the Christian tradition, people often understand parables as allegories. For example, many consider the sheep and the coin to represent repentant sinners; and the man who seeks the lost sheep or the woman who searched high and low for the coin are symbols for God. I have often interpreted them this way. But I want us...

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September 12, 2022 25 min

"The Middle Rings" – Philippians 2:14-18

Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Rally Day Sunday, September 11, 2022. "[Paul's] whole letter goes back to what I read as our scripture lesson: 'Do all things without murmuring and arguing. Shine like stars in your witness to give cause for what we all need, for we are living in a crooked and perverse time that needs cause to rejoice.' Paul writes with his heart ...

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September 6, 2022 17 min

"Self-Inventory" – Luke 14:25-33

Sermon by the Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, September 4, 2022."Have you taken inventory of yourself? Have you considered who you are and what you have in order to more fully, and more completely, follow Jesus? . . . The cost of discipleship is high because the cost of discipleship is transformation. And this transformation is entering into an intimate relationship with God in Christ, who...

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August 30, 2022 12 min

"What Glory!" – Isaiah 40:3-5, John 1:14

Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from the Mission Build Campaign Worship Service of Celebration held on Sunday, August 28, 2022. "Our worship service celebrates the successful completion of the Mission Build Campaign. On the surface, it might seem that our celebration is more of what can be built to impress. . . . But God’s glory will not be seen in the buildings… unless we see m...

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August 24, 2022 20 min

"Sabbath Freedom" – Luke 13:10-17

Sermon by the Rev. Ann-Henley Nicholson, Director of Alumni Relations at Princeton Theological Seminary, from Sunday, August 21, 2022. 

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August 24, 2022 17 min

"A God Nearby" – Hebrews 11:29-12:2, Jeremiah 23:23-24

Sermon by the Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, August 14, 2022. "Hebrews isn’t giving us a cast of sinless saints. This letter isn’t about being champions for God; rather, it’s speaking the truth about what it means to be a human redeemed by grace. It’s offering an important word about the life of faith. Because the life of faith is hard. The life of faith is r...

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August 8, 2022 27 min

"Tell Me What to Do" – Proverbs 1:1-7

Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, August 7, 2022. "The Bible is, in its entirety, from stem to stern, a book about the way of wisdom. It is a book of moral discernment as people in their own circumstances strive to understand what it means to be a people who are devoted to God and who walk in the ways of justice, mercy and peace. . . . The Bible shows us how to [embrace ...

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August 2, 2022 19 min

"A Better Barn" – Luke 12:13-21

Sermon by the Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, July 31, 2022. "As we continue to make decisions about money in our nation, in our city, in our church, and in our families, who do we need to invite to be part of the conversation that isn’t currently heard? Whose voice should be valued that is left sitting off to the side?

"To the man in the parable, a bigger barn was the answer. But that ...

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July 25, 2022 20 min

"When an Iceberg Knows a Crystal" – I Corinthians 13:8-13

Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, July 24, 2022. "Bias can really mess up a friendship. It can mess up a marriage, too. It can mess up faith in God. When we are so clear within ourselves about who others are supposed to be―including God―we can give up on them. . . . The greatest pastoral care Paul can offer when two parties become judgmental about eac...

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July 18, 2022 18 min

"Lord, Do You Not Care...?" – Luke 10:38-42

Sermon by the Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, July 18, 2022. "Jesus found Martha in just such a state of fragmentation—a condition in which she could not enjoy his company, savor his presence, find inspiration in her work, receive anything he wished to offer her, or show him genuine love. Instead, all she could do was question his love ('Lord, do you not care?'),...

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July 11, 2022 23 min

"Original Virtue" – Genesis 1:26-28, 3:1-5; Luke 15:7

Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, July 10, 2022. "'I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance,' Jesus said. No need to repent? Who really believes that… except each one of the 99 who have 98 others around them telling them they have nothing for which to re...

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July 6, 2022 22 min

"Mission Mindset" – Luke 10:1-11

Sermon by the Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, July 3, 2022. "'Whatever house you enter, first say, "Peace to this house!"' This peace is not a simple hello or greeting. This is a peace that is representative of God’s salvation, that is God’s salvific shalom. This shalom is to be the opening word to all people. . . . As we engage with others, as the 70 did long ago, we must ...

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June 27, 2022 18 min

"Do This" – Luke 10:25-37

Sermon by the Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, June 26, 2022. "What shall we do to inherit eternal life? “Go,” Jesus says, “and do likewise.” Do this. Draw close. Show mercy. Extend kindness. See yourself in the victim and recognize the humanity in the one you hate the most. Do this and you will truly live."

Read the manuscript on our website:

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June 21, 2022 19 min

"Wiser Than Its Members" – Hebrews 12:1-2

Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, June 19, 2022. "Sometimes―many times―the church is wiser than its members. I use the term 'church' loosely to refer not only to a faith community, but also to that faith and tradition that feeds that community. . . . Don’t let our individual sins―those we know and those we don’t know―cling so closely that our generation skips...

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June 14, 2022 23 min

"Slowly Won" – John 15:1-17

Sermon by Dr. George C. Anderson from Sunday, June 12, 2022. "How many times have you won someone over by arguing with them? If you’re good at it, maybe you could have taught Jesus a thing or two. When I think through the Gospels, I can think of only one time when in the midst of a debate with someone else who came into the conversation to win that debate that Jesus won someone over… only one...

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June 7, 2022 27 min

"The Case for Going to Church" – Matthew 7:24-29

Sermon by the Rev. Howard Dudley, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Dunn, NC and our Evening VBS guest speaker, from Picnic Sunday, June 5, 2022. 

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May 31, 2022 19 min

"Speak Up" – Acts 16:16-34

Sermon by the Rev. Ben Brannan from Sunday, May 29, 2022. "But our story today is a story of a different color and tone. It is full of paganism, oppression, and slavery, complete with evil spirits, exploitation, and Anti-Semitism, topped off with violence, abuse, and imprisonment. Yet, even in the deepest, darkest, dungeons of life, the Gospel can save. . . . Now is the time to be honest with ...

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May 23, 2022 19 min

"The Beloved Community" – Acts 11:1-18

Sermon by the Rev. Elizabeth N.H. Link from Sunday, May 22, 2022. "Certainly, the past matters. The church exists because God has spoken in the past, and without a sense of that history we lack clarity about our current path and journey. But the past, though important, is never the point for the life of faith. The point is the present moment with the living God who is with us now. ...

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