Part II: Christ – Our Substitute

Midweek Advent Series – “Christ – Servant, Substitute, Savior”
Part II: Christ – Our Substitute
December 13, 2017

Peace be unto you this blessed evening from our Advent King, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“We have a substitute.” So, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear that? Even after being out of school for more years that you would like to remember, we often think about a “substitute teacher.”

God bless them! And especially those who find out at the last minute that they are standing in for another teacher. If I was a substitute, I think I would always recite the 23rd Psalm before entering the classroom, particularly where it says, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” (Psalm 23:4)

And amazingly, pertaining to our focus this blessed evening, there was one Substitute who literally walked through the valley and actually entered into death… for us… in our place… taking what should have most assuredly been our place… what was our place… still would be our place… if He had not come.

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“Frustration and Promise”

The Second Sunday in Advent
“Frustration and Promise”
December 10, 2017

Sermon Text: Malachi 4, Mark 1:1-8

A reading from the prophet Malachi, the fourth chapter:

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the Lord of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” 2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. 3 You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the Lord of hosts.

4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.

5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”

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Part I: Christ – Our Servant

Midweek Advent Series – “Christ – Servant, Substitute, Savior”
Part I: Christ – Our Servant
December 6, 2017

Peace be unto you this blessed evening from our Advent King, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is certainly heartwarming… wonderful and touching… to see a person of notoriety… of power and prestige… of high rank and authority… serving those of lower and sometimes the lowest of rank… serving those with no power… with little or no prestige. The extraordinary helping the ordinary in a gracious way.

The President of the United States making a surprise visit to our troops in Afghanistan and serving them breakfast.

A movie star without glitz and glamour, dressed in ordinary clothes, helping out at a Habitat for Humanity project.

But then, too, we think to ourselves, “these individuals are really no different than us and certainly no better than us.” That is true.  We are the same. We are all part of what is known as “mankind” … whether prince or pauper.

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“His Entrance, Our Salvation”

The First Sunday in Advent (B)
“His Entrance, Our Salvation”
December 3, 2017

Sermon Text: Mark 11:1-10, Luke 2:9-14

Peace be unto you from our Advent King, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

“And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke. 2:9-14)

 What? Too soon to read this? The account of our Lord’s birth… His coming to earth… His entry of all places, the little town of Bethlehem?

No… not really. It is not too soon at all and, in fact, this sacred reading parallels the Gospel account before us this morning, the First Sunday in Advent.

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