Sun, Dec 24, 2017
Duration: 24 mins 42 secs
Well here it is! The 4th Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve this year. So we will be gathering for worship together both morning and evening. Our regular Lord's Day morning service where we'll contemplate both the first and the second Advent by thinking about Philippians 2 where that's pretty much what Paul does. In the evening we will sing the great Christmas hymns, light the candles, and think about the Incarnation. What it is, why it is important, and how we are to continue the work Jesus started until he comes again.
Sun, Dec 17, 2017
Duration: 21 mins 12 secs
I know I said we wouldn't but I can't seem to find a way this week not to speak a bit about suffering, but also about hope. You might think oh more of the same but I'm not sure we ever stop suffering in this life or ever have enough hope. Advent is not simply about waiting but about longing and hoping.
Sun, Dec 10, 2017
Duration: 18 mins 37 secs
Probably like you I sometimes get songs stuck in my head. Sometimes it's not a song but merely a phrase or a line. Sometimes that's not so good, for example too often Craig Finn's "Lord I'm discouraged" or "Excuses and half-truths and fortified wine" from the same song. Other times it's good, like early this week when I couldn't shake "Tidings of comfort and joy". So for the second Lord's Day of Advent we will focus on comfort; who needs it, who gets it, who gives it, and where it comes from. More properly who it comes from. The phrase is from a Christmas hymn after all and we are trying, really trying, to keep our focus on Jesus. The season can be so distracting don't we really, really need worship?
Sun, Dec 03, 2017
Duration: 19 mins 53 secs
The first Sunday of Advent for 2017. Advent is typically described as a season of waiting and preparing for Christmas, the real Christmas, as in the celebration of the birth of Christ, not Santa, and Frosty, and the Peanuts gang. For our Advent we are going to touch on variations on the theme of "what are we waiting for?". For the first week we will look briefly again at this troubled world, try to make sense of a frequently misunderstood and misused Bible verse, and then see how Jesus is the answer we are looking for.
Sun, Dec 25, 2016
Duration: 22 mins 57 secs
And so this is Christmas. People keep asking, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Well, ready or not here it is. Connie is cooking, cleaning, all that, I am working on sermons and helping by staying out of her way. We will be ready. Together we have been trying to be ready, in the spiritual sense anyway, really the most important way, by Advent services and activities. Now the day is just about upon us. Christmas Eve we will gather as we usually do and do a good bit of singing, hear some familiar Scripture, and be thinking a bit about those folks too often thought of as minor characters in the Christmas story. Too easy to think of ourselves as minor characters also even when Paul corrects that with the image of the Body and so on. Let’s see why we are important to our Lord and to one another.
Sun, Dec 18, 2016
Duration: 28 mins 28 secs
Well it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Got in the spirit a bit by playing some Christmas tunes for “Donations and Donuts” last week and a few more at Atria’s last night. But getting in the spirit far more by reading Scripture and thinking through Advent messages. Several of you have mentioned you are enjoying the little Christmas book we gave you (more available if you didn’t get one or want another to give away). I also bought a couple of even smaller booklets one of which is called “Christmas in Three Words”. The author asks at the beginning what three words you would use to describe Christmas. My three are different than his. Be happy to give you his if you would like but this week we’ll look again at the Prologue to John’s Gospel and think a bit about mine. Faith, hope, and love. Of course Paul mentions them too and they are enshrined in classic theology as “The Three Theological Virtues”. I hope a helpful way to prepare by looking at our Lord and ourselves.
Sun, Dec 11, 2016
Some folks think Paul’s moving account of the incarnation in Philippians 2 was actually an early hymn or creed he was quoting. Possible, but we could also almost call it an early Christmas card. We are going to look at it this week and take up humility as our third theme for Advent. Jesus certainly demonstrated it and Paul calls us to “have this mind”. Not easy to do at all, certainly not easy to do consistently. We’ll look for some keys and helps.
Sun, Dec 04, 2016
Now that we are knee deep in Advent we will be staying with Advent related themes. This week we will think about just who needed a Savior and why anyone would need one. People had all kinds of expectations and ever since Jesus came people have had all kinds of interpretations and ideas. But, right at the leading edge of the Gospels we hear, “You shall call his name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins”. Seems pretty clear. But you have to know what those words mean and believe that truth. So this week we will think about sin. What is it? Why can’t we fix it? Why can’t God just get over it? Then we will be needing the Lord’s Supper won’t we?
Sun, Nov 27, 2016
Duration: 27 mins 28 secs