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John the Baptizer

Our theme this morning is PEACE…
but peace is not what comes to mind when I hear our Gospel this morning or of John the Baptizer.

John is an interesting, but significant and complex, character in Scripture.

John, according to the Gospel of Luke, is Jesus’ cousin, but that is not his significance in Advent. John serves as a bridge between the Advent emphasis on Jesus’ Second Coming AND the Advent focus on Jesus as the baby in a manger. In fact, the middle two Sundays in Advent shine a spotlight on him.
(Due to the Children’s Program next Sunday, we will have one opportunity to explore John).

John the Baptizer was a PREACHER. 
His passionate, emotion-driven, fire and brimstone sermons attracted people into the wilderness from the surrounding towns. His message was simple: “Repent! Prepare the way for the Messiah who is to come”. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2019 in Sermons

 

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A Call to Prepare the Way

This morning we hear of John the Baptizer (Baptist) in the desert wilderness.
It is the first of a two-part series in Advent featuring John the Baptizer in the desert wilderness.

He is in the uncivilized, unsettled wilderness telling the crowds to “prepare the way”.

Due to our Christmas program next week, we will miss John calling us ‘brood of vipers’ (and a few may be happy to ‘miss’ it).

John the Baptizer, however, is an interesting and fascinating character.

An Irish comedian has a piece entitled ‘Mass Around the World’, which I am not showing simply because his colorful language may not be considered church appropriate, but the description of John the Baptist is perfect. He claims to want his priest to be similar to John, a wild-eyed, crazed heretic riding into town once a week on the back of a donkey and eating honey from a bee’s butt. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2018 in Sermons

 

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Be Still?

Advent is a favorite of mine in the church year, but it is also when the Church and the world may be at odds the most.

Advent is a time of preparation that prepares our homes, hearts, and souls to welcome Christ. But, any time we prepare to welcome guests our life gets a little crazy.

So, it is not a surprise that December seems to be the busiest month for all of us.
We are busy preparing for Christmas with lights, trees, and presents.
We are busy preparing for loved ones to visit us OR for us to visit loved ones.

AND that is above and beyond our normal, everyday responsibilities that we cannot simply walk away from be it work, school, or loved ones.

And yet, the Church in scriptures and tone is quite the opposite calling for us to be still, to be quiet, to be patient and await the arrival of Christ.

There was a magnet in the kitchen of my home church that read:
“Look busy! Jesus is coming!”

This summarizes every Advent… Look busy! Jesus is coming! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2018 in Resources, Sermons

 

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the Light of Peace

Click Here for YouTube Video:

It was our second Sunday in Advent, the Sunday associated with peace. All but perhaps the gospel text dealt with peace.

Now in our world we all have different notions of and images of what peace looks like. I grew up in a home where I was taught that if someone is not hurting themselves or someone else, live and let live. And if you looked at the variety in my family, loved ones, and friends that I hold dearly you would see a lot of variety there.

But there are parts of my family where there is an expectation to live your life a certain way and if you don’t you may be called a “disgrace” or “white trash”. And yet there is other parts of my family where if you don’t agree with them completely then you cant be in relationship with them, because you are died to them. Now, most of us would think that those last two parts are not real peaceful. And our text deals with that a little. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2016 in Sermons

 

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Be Prepared

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Transcript:
Sunday was the First Sunday in Advent and I took a moment to talk about the Advent wreath. The Advent wreath is one white candle in the middle surrounded by three blue or purple candles and a pink candle. Now the blue (or purple) candles represent Hope, Peace, and Love while the pink candle represents Joy. The white candle represents Christ. Each Sunday in Advent we light an additional candle around the wreath and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we light the center candle as a symbol that the Light of the World, Christ, has come.

Advent is a mystical time where we await the fulfillment of the promises of God as the First Advent (the Christ-child in the manager) as well as the Second Advent (the return of Christ) and really every day in-between. It is a time when the past, the present, and the future all co-exist together.

In our texts this week, we hear about urgency and the need to be prepared. I use to work in a very high-end grocery store in the meat department. It goes without saying that the day before Thanksgiving, we would receive phone calls from people: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2016 in Sermon Summaries

 

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Jeremiah’s Words in the 21st Century

text: Jeremiah 33:14-16 (see below)“The days are surely coming” conveys the sense of anticipation and preparation that is the Advent Season. Yet, what are we anticipating and preparing for?

In general, Advent is a double-edged, paradoxical sword.

On the one edge, Christians are commemorating the original coming of the Messiah. This original coming of the Christ child that would deliver humanity from sin through death and resurrection.

On the other edge, Advent is eschatological. Eschatology is the theology concerned with the “final” events in the history of the world and/or humanity. These final events have more commonly been referred to as the “Second Coming”, the “Last Judgment”, and the “End Times”.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Sermons

 

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