Sermons

Yes, right from the beginning, we see the end. The cross is present from the beginning. The cross, which means on the one hand, the shedding of blood, the suffering, the death. The cross, which means on the other hand, the place from which Jesus promised, “I will draw all men to Myself.” All people—Jew and Gentile, shepherds and Magi, us and them. And this suffering-death-drawing-all-to-Himself cross is present from the beginning of Jesus’ earthly calling as Messiah, as King.
But…we’re not entirely comfortable with that. We prefer our Jesus holidays neat…nice and tidy. Christmas here. Easter there. But…as the Bible reminds us…God’s ways (to our way of thinking) are anything but neat and tidy. In fact, God’s ways seem to lead to a big mess before everything comes clean.

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A Real Boy

Jesus seems to be growing up really fast. Our Biblical texts move at fast-forward in the days of this Christmas season and soon, Epiphany. Here we are, only a week from Christmas, a week from the Baby lying in a manger, and suddenly Jesus is an adolescent, wandering off on His own. Last week Jesus was “prophecy fulfilled.” Now in this week’s Gospel Reading here He is, questioning the teachers and theologians about that very tradition. We’re still in chapter 2, but things seem to be moving so very fast in St. Luke’s Gospel. Is he making a point?

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The Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Eve) Luke 2:7 They say, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” And these days, there is certainly a lot of darkness! Ooh, but how we love to curse! “Curse this darkness!” “Curse this economy!” “Curse those who mess…

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Peace

So tonight the One who committed Himself into His mother’s hands at birth, who committed Himself into His Father’s hands at death, tonight He commits Himself into your hands—“Take, eat, My Body; Take, drink, My Blood”—into your hands He commits Himself. And the gentle peace of the manger wedded with the eternal peace of the cross, becomes your peace tonight.

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While King David dreams of building God a kingly house like his own, the Lord tells David by the prophet, on the contrary, God will build you a house like His own…eternal.
While young Mary dreams of a marriage and life with Joseph, doubtless, as a devote Jew, inviting the God of Abraham to share her life and her house, the Lord tells her by the angel, on the contrary, God will build in a her a life like His own…holy.
And to us in this last moment of quiet before the final week into Christmas, in this waning Advent season where prophets have called us to prepare a place within our hearts for Christ to come and enter there…today the Lord God says to us, on the contrary, it is not you who build Him a place in your life. He is building a place for you in His life.

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