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Showing posts from December, 2006

Sermon for Dec. 10, 2006, Advent II

Heralds of Jesus
Luke 3:1-6

We begin in the year 587 BC. If we could time travel to Jerusalem, we would see a city ravaged by war. Babylon, the merciless and dominant military power, has captured the King of Jerusalem and his family. One by one, The conquering army slays King Zedekiah’s sons as he is forced to look on. Men and boys are taken to the sanctuary of the Temple and killed. These moment of terror are the last things King Zedekiah sees before soldiers gouge his eyes out. The king and all of the Jewish survivors are shackled and marched across the desert to Babylon as political prisoners. It’s a lampoon of a victory parade as 15,000 prisoners march away from Jerusalem. Most of them will never see their homes again.

Israel’s prophets warned that their defeat was the punishment for Israel’s sin. The leaders hated justice and honesty, and led the people in the worship of the fertility gods of the other nations. God’s patience had run out. Judgment had come.

We don’t know much about w…

Sermon for December 3, 2005

The Days are Coming
Jeremiah 33:14-16
Luke 21:25-36

As we prepare our hearts for Advent, I invite you to listen to the Christmas Story.
“Once upon a time, a decree went out from Caesar in August that everyone should be taxed so that the deficit would not get too big. Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem. Mary rode on a donkey named Rudolph, who was embarrassed to be seen carrying an unwed mother. He blushed so at the thought that his nose glowed red. Upon arriving at Bethlehem, they could not find a place to stay. (It was, after all, the Christmas season, and the press of tourists was crushing.) As they knocked at the door of the last inn in town, the innkeeper pushed back the shutter and threw up the sash. His figure appeared so nimble and quick. They knew in a moment his name must be Nick. Meanwhile in a field nearby, seven dwarfs who were shepherds were startled to hear a group of angels singing Handel's Messiah. At the end of the concert, they were told to stand up and to …

Sermon for November 26, 2006 -- Christ the King

Serving the King
Revelation 1:4b-8 / John 18:33-37

When you think of Jesus - what image or metaphor do you comes to mind? Sometimes I think of Jesus as my brother and my friend -- someone who walks the journey of life with me, someone who talks with me and counsels me on the way, someone to whom it’s comfortable to talk and share life.

When you think of Jesus - what image or metaphor do you most often use? Some people think of Jesus as the good shepherd -- as one who guides and leads -- as the gentle savior who seek out the lost and injured sheep and carries the wounded and the lame on his shoulders till they are safe back in the fold.

What image do you have of Christ? How about Jesus as King? We don’t talk about that one much. Today we celebrate Christ as King. When I think about kings, here’s what comes to my mind:
« fairy-tale kings: benevolent, often dead, with a wicked queen
« king of the hill: the game where the strongest pushes everyone else off the hill
« “king me” -- checke…