Advent and Christmas Sermons (2008-2009)

Date: January 4, 2009Liturgical Day: The Second Sunday of Christmas Sermon Title: Extraordinary Blessing, Strength, Faithfulness

Summary: The writer of Ephesians gives us a glimpse of how the early church saw itself: extraordinarily blessed by God, extraordinarily strengthened by God, and called to an extraordinary faithfulness. God calls us to great things today as well, and is pleased to bless us and strengthen us for that service.

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Date: December 28, 2008 Liturgical Day: The First Sunday of Christmas Sermon Title: Seekers of God's Will and Word

Summary: Reflecting on the story of Simeon and Anna (St. Luke 2:22-40), a story about a young criminal, and the baptism of Hannah Grace Boyd, we are reminded that we have been called to be seekers of God's will and word. We grow in our capacity to be faithful in that calling by emulating the example of Simeon and Anna: studying the Scriptures, spending time with God in prayer, and becoming more familiar with what is most important to God.

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Date: December 25, 2008 Liturgical Day: The Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Day) Sermon Title: The Word Became Flesh and Lived Among Us

Summary: Through the best and worst of us, our God chooses to move, and be present to those who are in need. Through the kindness we offer to one another, through the good news we share with one another, through the simple willingness to be present in times of difficulty - in these an many other ways, God's presence is known through the love and care that is extended through those who believe, and who make themselves available to serve as agents of love and hope.

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Date: December 24, 2008 Liturgical Day: The Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Eve) Sermon Title: Christmas Hope, Christmas Peace

Summary: The only true hope there is comes from God. God, who promised to be with Mary and Joseph and their child, and through them bring new life to this world; God who watched over them during their travel to Bethlehem, during the birth of their child, and during their flight to Egypt. This same God promises to be with you and with me, in the midst of any fear or danger or uncertainty that we may experience in life.

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Date: December 14, 2008 Liturgical Day: The Third Sunday in Advent Sermon Title: Testifying to the Light

Summary: John's words point out that the only true purpose for a congregation to exist, is to draw its participants nearer to the Christ who can save them. If inspiration, fellowship, entertainment, tradition, and service help to do that, then that is all the better. But if any of those vehicles through which God works becomes the focus of a congregation, then it will never thrive, because it has lost its center: it is only the church as it works to draw people deeper into the life of faith and the journey of faithfulness.

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Date: December 7, 2008 Liturgical Day: The Second Sunday in Advent Sermon Title: The Hard Road to Renewal

Summary: While John's harsh words about repentance and confession and judgment may be uncomfortable to our ears, they do encourage us to see our need for forgiveness; our need for renewal; our need for a Savior. And they help us to discover that place within us that can only be filled by a relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ; the One whose power is able to give us a new beginning with each other and with God.

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Date: November 30, 2008 Liturgical Day: The First Sunday in Advent Sermon Title: A Waiting, Watching Advent

Summary: This is a season in which we concentrate on the Advent of our Lord, as he came to us in the past, in the birth of the Christ Child, as he comes to us in the present, when our hearts are filled by his presence, and also as he promises to come to us in the future, at the end of the age. May that future Advent of Jesus Christ be a part of our Advent observances this year, as we seek to discern what work Christ has left us to do in the household of God.

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