Sermons – Advent Season 2016

November 27     1st Sunday of Advent              Theme: Wonderful Counselor

Scriptures:     Isaiah 9:2b-7  & John 10:11-18

Thoughts:       This is the first in an Advent/Christmas series on the names and identity of the Child born for us, Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 first calls him Wonderful Counselor.  I will be matching each of these names with one of the “I Am” sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of John.  Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd and the sheep know my voice.”

 

December 4         2nd Sunday of Advent; Communion ; Handbells 11am      Theme: Mighty God

Scripture> Isaiah 9:2b-7   &  John 1:1-14

Thoughts: We tend to think that the greatest things Jesus did were the miracles he performed (and is still performing) in our midst. Raising Lazarus, feeding 5000, and healing 10 lepers seems great indeed, but they pale in comparison to what was done through him “In the beginning.”  Mighty God is best illustrated with this introduction from the Gospel of John.  Then “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

 

December 11    3rd Sunday of Advent; Choir Special                      Theme: Everlasting Father

Scriptures:    Isaiah 9:2b-7  & John 14:1-14

Thoughts: There is no disconnect between Jesus and the Father. The “I am” statement here is “I am the way (to the Father), the truth (about the Father) and the life (from the Father).  This child born for us is more than a king, more than a conduit for grace, more than a wonder worker or great teacher.  This child is the personification of the eternal, everlasting God – the Father of all Creation.

 

December 18    4th Sunday of Advent                        Theme: Prince of Peace

Scriptures:  Isaiah 9:2b-7   & John 14:25-31

Thoughts: Jesus admits that his peace is different than the world’s peace. He told his disciples that he did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  In fact what Jesus predicted has come true – faith will cause turmoil among the peoples.  So, what is he talking about, “My peace I give to you?”  in the midst of all the turmoil, violence and war we experience, there is an inner peace and confidence that we are not alone.  We have a Comforter who is with us no matter the circumstances.  Every Apostle except John died a violent death born of persecution, but each died with peace in their soul.  It is promised to be the same for us because of the Prince of Peace.

 

December 24      Christmas Eve  (5:00 & 7:00 pm)             Communion

Scriptures:    Isaiah 7:14   & Matthew 1:18-25  & Luke 2:1-20               Theme: Immanuel

Thoughts: OK, it’s finally here. It’s Christmas Eve and we get to read the story of the Birth of Jesus.  Such a big deal is made about his name: Jesus.  The names Jesus and Immanuel are connected to saving his people and the saving God is with us.  This child foretold of old is filled with the promise of all the peoples of the earth.  Salvation is wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Hope appears with the angels, and the earth itself seems to sing his praises.

 

December 25      Christmas Day   ONE WORSHIP (no Sunday School – 10:30am worship)

 

Scriptures:     Luke 2:22-38             Theme: The Blessing of Christmas

Thoughts: Now we get to live with Jesus. Soon the new wears off of the toys.  All the decorations have to be put away.  Dinner has to be prepared and soon it to will be gone.  Still we get to live with Jesus.  The holy child sung about in all the carols grows up really, really fast.  Lent and Easter are just around the corner.  Living with Jesus means making choices.  Some of these choices are not easy.  To follow him means change and blessing and service and sacrifice.  Living with Jesus is demanding and “an easy yoke.”  The big question for today is, “How will I live with Jesus?”