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Joseph’s Story

The Winter Solstice (Dec. 21) marked the shortest day and longest evening of the year.
Thus, the light is beginning to return with increasing days and shortening evenings.

Our Advent emphasis has also shifted in direction from the Second Coming of Jesus to his original arrival as the baby in the manger.

As we await the baby in the manger, we are aware that Jesus brings with him the light that is Hope, Peace, Joy, and LOVE which the darkness of hopelessness, conflict rooted in injustice, misery and suffering, and hate cannot overcome.

It is during the Winter Solstice, Yule, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Christmas, and various religious and cultural celebrations encourage the entire world to join in a conspiracy of LOVE without the boundaries and confides that often separate us, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, culture, religious or non-religious affiliation, political affiliation, socio-economic status, sexuality, and etc..

And that LOVE is our emphasis this morning. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2019 in Sermons

 

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Mary’s Story

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I saw a meme on Facebook yesterday that had a picture of the Grinch and it read “This year just to do something different I decided to steal the last week of Advent”. I shared it on my Facebook page and wrote “Nice try, but it is not gonna work!”.

Grinch

I have a reason for upholding the Fourth Sunday in Advent this morning.

The First Sunday (in Advent) was dedicated to the Second Coming of Christ, which is a time and topic we do not want to talk about.

The Second and Third Sundays (in Advent) was dedicated to John the Baptist who was a voice in the wilderness calling for each of us to “prepare the way for the Messiah”.

In my opinion, it does not seem correct or fair to jump from “preparing the way for the Messiah” to “He is Here”, without honoring the message an angel gave to Mary.

Now most of us, as Lutherans, do not know much about Mary or her story. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2018 in Sermons

 

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Holy Family

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This was our fourth and final Sunday in Advent. We shifted from a focus on the Second-Coming/end times to God breaking into our world, incarnated as the Christ-child. We often have the story of Gabriel visiting Mary, but in our Matthew text this week, we have the angel visiting Joseph.

Mary and Joseph lived in a time, in a place, in a culture that was based on shame. We don’t see this type of culture much, especially in the United States with the exception of the Amish community. If you bring shame or disgrace upon yourself, upon your family, upon your community you are excommunicated and all ties, all connections, all relationships to everyone and everything you’ve ever known ends. This was the society that Mary and Joseph was living.

Mary comes to Joseph and tells him “I’m pregnant by the Holy Spirit”. Joseph is thinking “what have you been doing? and with you? Your story is pretty unbelievable”.

Joseph is trying to figure out what to do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2016 in Sermon Summaries

 

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