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Showing posts from December, 2007

Sermon for December 16, 2007

Joy of Mary
Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-38

There was a perfect man who met a perfect woman. After a perfect courtship, they had a perfect wedding. Their life together was, of course, perfect. One snowy, stormy Christmas Eve this perfect couple was driving along a winding road when they noticed someone at the roadside in distress. Being the perfect couple, they stopped to help. There stood Santa Claus with a huge bundle of toys. Not wanting to disappoint any children on the eve of Christmas, the perfect couple loaded Santa and his toys into their vehicle. Soon they were driving along delivering the toys. Unfortunately, the driving conditions deteriorated and the perfect couple and Santa Claus had an accident. Only one of them survived the accident. Who was the survivor?
Answer: The perfect woman. She’s the only one that really existed in the first place.
A Man’s Response: So, if there is no perfect man and no Santa Claus, the perfect woman must have been driving. This explains why there…

Sermon for December 2 -- Advent 1

The Radiance of Christ
December 2, 2007

I learned about Jesus' birth while wearing a bathrobe. Each Advent season I got a part in the Christmas pageant, generally as either a shepherd or a wise man. At the appropriate moment, I shuffled into place and said my line—usually only one, occasionally two -- “Let us go to Jerusalem!” or “We have seen his star shining in the east.” The idea was to show Jesus' birth as history, but effort at historical authenticity never went too far. I always thought we should have real sheep and camels in the pageant. My ideas were always overruled by the Sunday School superintendent.

There are troubling parts of the Christmas story that were never told. Herod’s slaughtering of the innocents doesn’t get a lot of stage time in Christmas pageants. But it’s part of the story. We are not even aware of another violent subplot to our Christmas story. It comes from the Hanukkah story. Hanukkah is not the modern Jewish alternative to Christmas. The holiday act…