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Showing posts from December, 2010

Sermon for December 19, Advent 4

Doing the Right Thing

The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn't know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.

While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God's angel spoke in the dream: "Joseph, son of David, don't hesitate to get married. Mary's pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God's Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—'God saves'—because he will save his people from their sins." This would bring the prophet's embryonic sermon to full term:

Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son;
They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for "God is with us").

Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God's…

Sermon for December 12, 2010

Choosing Life

Advent is a time of waiting. Preparing. But what are we waiting for? For what are we preparing? For happier times? A better world? For our longing for peace and justice to be stilled? Advent is a time of waiting and wondering, looking back and looking forward. Advent is a time of hoping and searching. Advent is the time of light shining in the darkness, peace overcoming conflict and war, and warmth entering the cold of the world we live in. Advent is a chance of new beginnings – often small, but almost always significant. Keep this in mind as we hear today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel.

John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and…