“With Thankfulness in Our Hearts”

The First Sunday after Christmas (C)
“With Thankfulness in Our Hearts”
December 16, 2018

Sermon Text: Colossians 3:16-17, Luke 2:22-40

Today’s Gospel lesson declares, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)  So far, our text.

Peace be unto you from the Savior of the World, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

And this my friends, in light of the great love and mercy God our Father has shown toward us in sending His only begotten Son, our Savior… Jesus… into the world.

In fact, we just celebrated Christ’s holy nativity. We did so on Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day and in reality, it never ends… our celebration, that is… and our thankfulness… they know no end.

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“The Glory of the Lord”

The Nativity of our Lord – Christmas Day
“The Glory of the Lord
December 25, 2018

Sermon Text: John 1:1-14

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from the Prince of Peace, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

Another day. Another service. Same occasion. Same celebration. And for those reasons as well as countless others, the number of people in church on Christmas Day is low. Look around you.

Why come in the day… early in the day no less… when we were here last night… worshipping the Christ Child… beholding the glory of the Lord… beholding the Savior of the World and our salvation as it beautifully unfolds?

Another day. Another service. Same occasion. Same celebration and yet were we to be in church every hour of the day for all of the days of our life, we could not begin to exhaust our considering the magnitude of this event… the intricacies of the event… and the implications of the same.

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“Es Ist Ein’ Ros’ Entsprungen”

The Nativity of our Lord – Christmas Eve
Es Ist Ein’ Ros’ Entsprungen”
December 24, 2018

Sermon Text: Isaiah 11:1-2

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from the Prince of Peace, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

A blessed Christmas Eve to you all! The Prophet Isaiah foretold,

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)

And so it came to be on a starry night… that first Christmas night… in the little town of Bethlehem that all this came to be. The shoot… the branch that shall bear fruit and flower now appeared. A beautiful, delicate flower… so pure in the midst of so much ugliness and the filth of sin which clung to all mankind… covered all mankind.

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“Are You the One?”

The Third Sunday in Advent (C)
“Are You the One?”
December 16, 2018
Sermon Text: Luke 7:18-28

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

“The only thing constant is change.” So, the old adage goes. And I do mean old… really old. It actually dates back some 500 years before Christ and is attributed to the Greek philosopher, Hericlitus of Ephesus. “Panta rhei” is his famous quote in Greek… everything flows… everything is in flux.

And we have certainly seen this in the world around us with all of the constant change… and at warp speed no less. Oh, how our culture has changed… how society has changed.

The time of John the Baptist was a difficult time. Life was hard. Everyday living… hard. Add to that being under the weight of Roman oppression. It was a tough existence… it was literally tough to exist. Many didn’t… not for long that is. And for John, well, his prison days would soon be over as he is martyred for his faith… martyred for speaking the truth.

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“The Voice Still Crying in the Wilderness”

The 2nd Sunday of Advent (C)
“The Voice Still Crying in the Wilderness”
December 9, 2018

Sermon Text: Malachi 3:1-7b, Luke 3:1-14

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our Advent King, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

Amazingly, it will still catch people by surprise… the vast majority of men, women, teenagers and children who happen to be living at that time… carrying out their lives… carrying on as if this will all continue on.

It is no overstatement to say that the world will be in shock at the second coming… our victorious King, Christ Jesus, coming down from heaven at the sound of the trumpet… on the last day… with legion upon legion of His angels and all the company of heaven singing and giving glory to God in the highest.

All of this was foretold… spoken about by the voice crying in the wilderness which has resounded throughout time… right up until the end.

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“Preparing Our Hearts and Homes – Our Advent Journey”

“Preparing Our Hearts and Homes – Our Advent Journey”
Midweek Advent Series
“The Lighting of the Candles”
December 5, 2018

Sermon Text: John 8:2-19

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

There is something about evening time. As darkness comes over the land, so does peace and quiet… at least significantly more so than during the hustle and bustle of the day… the workday or school day.

With the sun now setting very early, we see lights going on much earlier – street lights, car lights, home lights and, of course, Christmas lights. And although much progress has been made in the way of artificial lighting in making it appealing, it simply does not “hold a candle” to natural firelight… candlelight… with its warm glow.

We in the Christian Church certainly know about candlelight. It has been used in worship for thousands of years. And for good reason. Make no mistake about it… the use of candles… the lighting of candles… was not the idea of man. Its importance and symbolitry were not either. They are divinely prescribed and used.

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“Bookends and Everything in Between”

The First Sunday in Advent (C)
“Bookends and Everything in Between”
December 2, 2018

Sermon Text: Luke 19:28-40

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our Advent King, Christ Jesus.  Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

Interesting isn’t it? To be at the beginning, and likewise see the end. To stand at the “starting line” but also have the “finish line” in clear view… plain view.

And this, having to do with our Lord’s saving mission here on earth. With a new Church Year… with the beginning of the Advent Season, we are at the start of it all.

As such, for you, me and all of Christendom, it is about the incredibly imperative preparation underway then and now for receiving the long-awaited Christ… the long-awaited Messiah… the Blessed Savior that God promised to send to our first parents covered in sin and, in turn, all who would come after them, including you and me.

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