Posts

I love breaks to study all the more....sermon post: Luke 2:8-20

Image
  It is a rare opportunity but when it comes I love it.  We have a Missions Focus Sunday at the church this Sunday so I have two weeks to prepare for my next sermon.  I almost feel this would be ideal on a regular basis but I make the most of the time when I get it. The sermon title for last Sunday was "Cue The Shepherds!" and the picture above is of a sheepfold in the fields which is used for the evening gathering of the sheep.  How many times I have "cued the shepherds" in a Christmas pageant to come to the manger but the shepherds that night didn't need to be cued .  They were in haste to find the Babe wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.  The angel had said, "For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2.11, LSB). It was a five point sermon. 1.  We marveled at the layering of the Bible.  It just keeps building upon itself as we study it throughout our lives. 2.  We noted the pattern we

Back in the office after 1150 drive in one day...sermon post...Luke 2:1-7

Image
  I'm back in the office after a day of 72 degrees in Florida and it was 14 degrees this morning in Ohio!  It was a long stretch to leave at 6 a.m. from Zephyrhills, Florida and arrive back in Medina, Ohio just before 11:30 p.m.  This route is just about 1150 miles.  So what do you do driving by yourself over that span of time? You scan the radio dial for anything interesting.  Talk radio, sermons, and songs are my stable unless I have some podcasts lined up.  You watch other drivers like a hawk especially when traveling through the larger cities (Atlanta, Knoxville, Cincinnati, etc.).  There always seems to be at least one close call over that many miles.  I think through a lot of ministry scenarios and then commit them to prayer with my eyes open!  I usually end up with singing Christian kids songs I grew up with.  Deep and Wide, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves The Little Children, One Door And Only One, I May Never March In The Infantry and the list goes on and on.   The sermon pos

Reflections from another Christmas season...sermon posts...Luke 1:39-80

Image
  This is a twofer sermon post with a short devotional from Christmas Eve and the sermon from Sunday, Dec. 26th.  I am walking slowly through Luke 1 & 2 to glean as much from the first Advent account.  The picture above shows an example of what old priest Zechariah might have wrote upon during his nine months of silence. Elizabeth and Zechariah in the face of popular opinion that didn't give up after the first "no" stuck with "His name is John."  "His name is John"  is synonymous for me as "I hear what you are saying but God has said...."  At times popular opinion might look logical; it may have been voted on; and we may look like the unloving position to stand opposite of it but what God has said we need to continue to live by with ever increasing love and grace. The god of popular opinion many times wants to change the story line.  We see that with the major religious days of the church calendar.  We have changed or added to the first

The 4th Sunday of Advent...sermon post...about a month later

Image
  At Weymouth Community Church we are preparing for the lighting of the Christ Candle on Christmas Eve.  The songs have been selected; the individual candles are ready for distribution; and the logistics of conducting another service and one being with very limited lighting are being ironed out.  I think of Christians all over the world gathering to sing about the One who has come and is coming again! Our sermon this week covered baby announcement and reveal #2.  The angel Gabriel first met Zechariah the priest and now he meets Mary the virgin.  It warranted another chart as these are side by side in the Scriptures. Also, we added to the gospel explanation through the definitions of the names of the characters of the Advent of Jesus. “God remembers” - Zechariah “God is faithful” - Elizabeth “God brings grace” - John “God will add” - Joseph “A rebellion” - Mary “God saves” - Jesus The God who remembers (Zechariah) after 400 years of silence is faithful (Elizabeth) to His words and

Third Sunday of Advent..."about 9 months earlier"...sermon post

Image
  I have been really concentrating on making each meeting at the church during this Advent season focused on Jesus' birth.  What is the big story?  What led up to this event?  Who are the characters?  What was the purpose of it all?  How does this change our time together as families and church families?  Every time the church gathers over this time I want us to be saturated with a different message than what we have been bombarded with throughout the week.  This is a message that needs to be proclaimed that good news has come to the world that God created and so loved. This week we are introduced to Herod the Great, Zechariah, Elizabeth, John and the angel Gabriel.  The events of the birth of John the Baptist are critical to the birth of Jesus the Messiah because the Scriptures tell us that a messenger would come before Him to proclaim who He is.  John the Baptist did this when he pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!  This

Second Sunday Of Advent...What Did They Know?

Image
  The manger now has hay/straw in it.  Another Sunday of Advent has past leading up to the Christmas Eve service.  Another Advent candle has been lit and some more Scriptures have been read about the coming Messiah.  All our songs speak of Him and we are re-introduced to the characters of Christmas through them (angels, shepherds, Mary, Joseph, etc.).  The anticipation is growing and this Sunday walks us through many passages of what they, the Israelites, knew of this coming Messiah from the Old Testament. As one who lives after the first coming of Christ, His life, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension, we listen to these prophecies and easily associate them with Jesus.  We marvel that they rejected Him.  But we too rejected Jesus at one time.  It wasn't until our eyes were opened by Him to see Him as the Messiah who had come that we embrace Him with our repentance, submission and obedience.  We were just as blind as they and needed Jesus' intervention to interpret th

First Sunday of Advent...Galatians 4:1-7...The When, What, and Why of Christmas

Image
  Another manger (feeding trough) made for the purpose of assisting the church through the Advent season.  Not made by me but a long time member of WCC who has such a heart for God.  The manger starts out empty and bare but each Sunday it transforms into so much more.  The children come into the sanctuary and check out the manger each Sunday to see what has changed.  It is front and center so I can refer to it often in the sermons of Advent.   The first sermon of Advent is one I have done before a couple of times.  The passage is Galatians 4:1-7 and we hear the Christmas event in verses 4 and 5,  "But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."   It is great to read from the 1st century writers how they tied salvation to the manger scene.  Really, it is incomplete unless we tell why the "little one" came. The story of &