Ordinary Christmas

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A sermon on Christmas Eve

We all spend a lot of time trying to make Christmas, merry and bright. In the midst of life’s struggles, pain, failures and darkness, we hope that having an extraordinary tree, extraordinary gifts, extraordinary decorations will fix what ails us. We’re kind of like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.” A perfect Christmas will make our ordinary lives extraordinary. Like Clark, however, it never quite works out. Perhaps that’s because God comes in such an ordinary way, on a dark and silent night in an out of the way place far from home. That’s where God chooses to meet us – in ordinary places and ordinary things; like mangers, water, wine and bread. That’s what makes Christmas extraordinary.

What Simeon Saw

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A sermon on the First Sunday of Christmas, based on Luke 2:22-40

When the elder Simeon, full of the Holy Spirit, saw Joseph and Mary in the Temple, he burst into song. As he looked into the eyes of that baby, just 40 days old, he sang, “My eyes have seen your salvation.” It was the fulfillment of a promise given through the Spirit, that Simeon would not die until he saw the Messiah. Now, looking at Jesus, he sings that he can die in peace, God’s Word has come to pass. Moments later, his song is echoed by the prophet, Anna, who in her old age sees what Simeon sees. What did they see in that baby? More than a warm feeling; more than a sentimental moment. Anna and Simeon saw people set against one another by this child; they saw that this child would meet opposition and pain. What they saw brought hope and peace. I’d sure like some of that…

Love Arose: A Sermon on Resurrection

The men who were sent to guard the tomb of Jesus had a harder job than they imagined. They had little idea that the tomb was not up to the task of containing Immanuel (God with us); that God had in mind to reboot all creation on that morning starting with raising Jesus; that Love could not be so easily be extinguished. The power of the resurrection has been shared with you and me, and “since we have been raised with Christ” (Col. 3:1) we have nothing to fear in this world ever again, not even death. For God, Love, Life have the final word over all things.

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