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Showing posts from December, 2012

A Pastoral Letter to Christ Congregational Church

Dear Friends,

As part of Jesus’ birth narrative, Matthew’s Gospel quotes the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more” (Matthew 2:18; Jeremiah 31:15). In our hearing of the Christmas story, we are confronted with Rachel’s refusal. Her lamentation is part of the chorus that proclaims Christ’s birth. Until the events of this past weekend, Rachel’s weeping may have seemed discordant with the joyous songs of angels singing “peace on earth, goodwill to all.” But now, as we face the massacre in Newtown, CT, we have some questions. Where was God? Why didn’t a loving God stop this from happening? Why does God allow evil to abound? Our flowing tears and authentic questions are now part of our welcome of the Christ child.

Matthew’s Gospel story refers to King Herod’s slaughter of Bethlehem’s children, an event that we have come to call the murder of the Holy Inn…

Two Meditations for Advent 3, December 16, 2012

The Illusions of Darkness
11 AM
Listen Here

In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.
John 1:1-5

Ok, here is a brain twister for your physicists out there. What is the opposite of light? Were you going to say darkness? Don’t be too quick to answer this one. We now know that particles have anti-particles. Since light is made up of particles called photons, then the opposite of light is anti-photons or anti-light. But wait! It turns out that the anti-particle for the photon is the photon. Which means that the opposite of light is . . . light.

As it turns out, the universe is composed of light. What we call darkness is simply the absence of light. Even …

Sermon for December 9, 2012, Advent 2

Hope for Things to Come
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“There will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” Then he gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near.  I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the w…

Sermon for December 2, 2012 / Advent 1

Advent is Like a Prison Cell
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:3-11 Sounds upbeat from a man in prison, doesn’t …