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Second Sunday After Epiphany           John 1:43-51                                                                 January 14th, 2018

Come and see. Speak Lord your servant is listening. You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Listen to the Lord. Listen to his word. If you want to know what the Lord says listen to him when he speaks to you in his word. Get to know what his voice sounds like. This is what the Lord says to us. Every time we read his word here in church, the Lord is speaking to you. Every time you read his word at home, that is the Lord speaking to you. The more we listen to him, the more we know what our Lord sounds like. 

What are you listening to?

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Sermon 1623                          Acts 16.25-34                          January 7, 2018

Things become a lot clearer when a life is on the line.  You pay attention as the car spins out and starts to imitate a toboggan going down a snow-covered mountain embankment.  You sort of focus when your wife says the baby is coming, only you are not in the hospital.  You see clearly when an earthquake breaks your prison apart like a rotten melon and, because Roman law says your life for the lives of any and all prisoners who have escaped under your watch, it’s a choice between execution which means your family will suffer the loss of all their possessions, or your suicide which will let them keep the money.

In the adventures of the Apostle Paul, a man found himself in just that no win situation.  But he came out with

A Baptism for Life

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Praise the Lord                      Isaiah  45:20-25                                         December 31st, 2017

Our Savior being born matters. The fact that God became flesh so that he could save you from sin and death matters. That is something worth celebrating. It is not trivial. It wasn’t just another day when Jesus was born.

God became man. God lived among his people. God lived with us. Every other God out there promises you something in the future. This will happen later if you do this now. Our God did something for us in the span of history, that we can always point to and say our God lives. And people have seen him. Mary and Joseph held their God in their hands. Simeon rejoiced to hold the Savior of the world in his hands. Anna saw and held her savior in her hands. God is real and he was among us

Praise the Lord

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Sermon 1622                          John 1.10-13                                              December 25, 2017

Christmas is about a baby who makes a family.  Christmas is about birth, the new life that came into our world.  It is a special life, a unique life, John’s Gospel tells us.  The Word, God from all eternity, became flesh and lived among us.  God’s one and only Son was sent down to earth as the biggest proof of God’s love and commitment to the human race, to you, to me.

Then the ironies start.  He made everything, but the darkness which exists cannot understand him, cannot overcome him, cannot “catch on” to him or “catch” him to bring him down.  Beyond stopping and beyond understanding.  That’s the world’s reaction.

His own did not receive him.  This is not a story where the angels sing and the shepherds rush to Bethlehem.  This is not a story where Wise Men from the east come to worship the baby Jesus and give him princely gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  This is a birth of contradictions, a birth of mystery.  John opens the baby Jesus’ birth at Christmas up when he includes you and me in the Christmas story.  We are

Born of God

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Does it get any better than this?        Isaiah 9:2-9                                                          Christmas Eve Worship

Christmas the best is knowing that God will never stop keeping his promises made to you. That all who believe in him will have ever lasting life. What makes Christmas the best isn’t creating one perfect night of distraction from everything terrible going on in the world. It is being reminded. That it is going to get better than this. The promises that God makes to you is it is going to be better than this.  We live in a world of sin, pain, disappointment, fear, war, evil. That’s not what God intended, and that’s not the way it is going to stay. It is going to get better. It is going to happen when Jesus comes back and takes you and me and all believers to live with him forever in heaven. 

Does it get any better than this?

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Sermon 1621                          Luke 1.26-38                                              December 24, 2017

Just.  Slow.  Down.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could?  Wouldn’t it be great if you had all kinds of time?

When you get right down to it, time is what we end up having the least of.  We run out of time.  We’re short of time.  We’ve lost time or at least lost track of time.  The past 30 days from Thanksgiving bear witness to that.  And we thought we had all kinds of time because Thanksgiving was so early this year!

I know I’m going to have a tough time selling you on this, but boy, oh, boy, am I glad it isn’t my crazy idea.  It’s God’s crazy idea, so you know even though it may sound a little bit crazy, God’s as crazy like a fox.

On the Doorsteps of Forever