Sermon on Luke 2:22-40, for the 1st Sunday after Christmas, about Jesus' blessing by aged Simeon and Anna. How are these elderly believers example to us of a lifelong commitment of faith? How does God sustain faith? What is our response to God's Promises? What is the significance of Christian community, in relation to our faith?
Sermon on Matthew 11:25-30, for Christmas Day, about how the incarnation is God's way of revealing His eternal, invisible, incomprehensible nature to us in the visible, tangible and comprehensible flesh and blood of His Son Jesus. How is Jesus the exact imprint of the Father? How do we know if the Son has chosen us to know the Father? Merry Christmas everyone and celebrate the incarnation of our Lord!
Sermon on Matthew 1:12-25, for Christmas Eve, about the fundamental question "Who is Jesus?" and the answers that we find both in His genealogy and in the gift of the two names: Jesus and Immanuel, that are give to us this Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!
Sermon on Micah 5:2-5a, for the 4th Sunday in Advent, about the prophecy of the Messiah's birth in Bethlehem. What clues does Micah reveal about the Savior? What would Israel's experience during the wait be? How would God work mighty things out of the lowly and despised?
Sermon on Zephaniah 3:14-20, for the 3rd Sunday in Advent (3 Yr), about Zephaniah's "sunburst of joy" that comes at the end of a book of harsh judgment and gloom. How do we rejoice, when we are in the midst of dark days? What is the great surprise about God singing? Why is God joyful, and how does that translate to us? Who is this message meant for?
As a personal note, this was one of my favorite sermons to write recently, as I continuously marvel at the thought that God sings over us. I hope you enjoy and give praise to God for all that He has done and who He is!
Sermon on Luke 3:1-14, for the 2nd Sunday in Advent (3 Yr lectionary...switched back). How do we respond to John the Baptist's sharp call to repentance? How do we see unrepentance in our own lives? How does God break through that unrepentance? What does it look like to bear fruits in keeping with repentance? How do we "see the salvation of God" in Jesus Christ?
Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, for the Last Sunday of the Church Year (1 Yr lectionary), about the suddenness of Jesus' 2nd coming, and how to be ready for His return. What is Paul's illustration about drunkenness or sobriety, and how does that inform our readiness for Christ's coming?
Sermon on Psalm 8 & 19, for Thanksgiving Eve, about how the heavens declare the glory of God, and pour forth knowledge. What does the creation witness about God's handiwork? How is the universe finely tuned for life to exist? Reasons to be thankful to God for, that we might take completely for granted, or not even know. Happy Thanksgiving!
Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, for the 25th Sunday after Trinity (1 yr lectionary), about death, resurrection, and the second coming of Jesus. How does this passage inform and encourage Christians even in their losses (death of loved ones)? What does it teach, along with other passages, about the return of Christ? How many times does Christ return, according to Scripture? What confusion has been caused by the idea of a secret rapture?
**This funeral message was given after one of our church family took her own life. This is shared in hope that it might help others struggling with suicide or the suicide of a family member. The names have been removed for family privacy, (so there are a few gaps in the audio). We, along with many others urge those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts to reach out to someone and ask for help--a pastor, teacher, mentor, friend, counselor. There IS HOPE, though depression can often cloud us from seeing it. Do not be ashamed to ask for help. The Lord be with you!**
Key passages used in our pastoral counseling were Isaiah 42:3 and Romans 6:11.
Sermon on Isaiah 51:9-16, for the 24th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about waiting on God's action, crying out for His deliverance. How has God come through in the past? How does that inform our faith (trust) facing the future? What is the reward of those who wait on Him? When does it feel as though God is asleep? Is the Lord's arm ever shortened?
Sermon on John 8:31-36, for Reformation Day, about Jesus' teaching of what true freedom is, and how we are often blind to the nature of what freedom or captivity is. What is that freedom, and once we have it in Christ Jesus, how do we keep it, and how do we live in that freedom?
Sermon on Ephesians 6:10-17, for the 21st Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), about the armor of God and our spiritual struggle against the forces of evil. What are the battle lines? Who is our real enemy? Who equips us, and what is the protection given? What kind of attacks face us? Who gets all the credit and glory?
Sermon on Ephesians 4:22-28, for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, (1 Yr lectionary), about the struggle between the old self and the new self, or the spirit and the flesh. How do we fight against the old sinful nature? How do we have confidence of victory? Who is responsible for the change and renewal in us?
Sermon on Deuteronomy 10:12-21, for the 18th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about how this sermon of Moses to the Israelites relates to us today. What does it teach us about God's character and His law, and the reasons why He gave it? How is God's law consistent with His character? How are His people to reflect that, with particular attention to the marginalized and disadvantaged of society? How does our sinful nature respond to God's commands, and how does God create a new spiritual nature that seeks to obey them? How do Old and New Testament parallel the ways they speak of circumcision and renewal?