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Showing posts from November, 2016

Sermon for First Sunday in Advent, "His Name Shall Be Called: Wonderful Counselor," Isaiah 9:2-7

Sermon 11/27/16 Isaiah 9:2-7




His Name Shall Be Called: Wonderful Counselor

Today we begin the holy season of Advent. Advent is a four week time of preparation for Christmas. It’s a time when we prepare our hearts, our spirits, our homes, our place of worship, our lives, for the coming Christ-child. It’s a time when we practice the holy discipline of waiting. Jesus is coming. Jesus will be born among us – but not yet. It’s a tension we live in as a people of faith, even as we are always Easter-people, people who know the mystery of faith that Christ has come, and died, and risen, and will come again. We live as a people who know the story already, and yet still spend this time waiting and longing for Christ to be born among us again.
Advent is a counter-cultural season. Christmas, the season in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, begins on Christmas day and lasts twelve days – the twelve days of Christmas –from December 25th- January 5th, the day before Epiphany. We’ll talk a lot more…

Sermon for Reign of Christ/Christ the King Sunday, Year C, "Jesus, Remember Me," Luke 23:33-43

Sermon 11/20/16 Luke 23:33-43
Jesus, Remember Me

Singing: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. (488) Today is the last Sunday of the Christian Year, which is also known as Christ the King or Reign of Christ Sunday. How many of you know what Christ the King or Reign of Christ Sunday is? It’s not one of our major holy days. In fact, often, Christ the King Sunday gets a bit neglected, because most years, it falls on Thanksgiving Sunday, which isn’t technically even part of the liturgical calendar, but usually takes precedence for Christians in the United States. If we have to choose between Thanksgiving as a focus in worship and focusing on “Christ the King,” we usually choose Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is important, and indeed, that’s the direction I had planned to go today. But as I was preparing for worship this week, I just felt drawn to the themes that come with this Reign of Christ Sunday. I was thinking about what my Uncle Bill said at the end of his sermon last week, w…

Sermon for All Saints Sunday, "Thankful People: Idols," Exodus 20:1-5a, 22-24, Matthew 6:24-25

Sermon 11/6/16 Exodus 20:1-5a, 22-24, Matthew 6:24-25
Thankful People: Idols

            I’ve mentioned to you before that one of the things Jesus talks about most in the gospels is money: our stuff, our things, what we treasure, what we do with what we’ve been given. Perhaps up to 40% of the teachings of Jesus relate in some way to our wealth and what we do with it. But throughout the scriptures as a whole there’s a broader, recurring topic that takes us from one end of the scriptures to the other, and that’s idolatry, the practice of making and worshiping false gods.             Today when we hear the word idol, we don’t usually think of worshipping false gods. Without a little context, that concept is kind of hard for us to get our heads around. What pops to our mind is American Idol, celebrities, sports figures, people we put on a pedestal, people we want to be like, people we admire. But I don’t think we’d say we want to worship those people, right? I think when we think about idola…