Sermons – Advent Season 2017

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December 3    1st Sunday of Advent, Communion

Scriptures:  Isa 64:1-9  1 Cor 1:3-9   Ps 80:1-7, 17-19                Theme: The Gifts of Christmas – Clay

Thoughts:  This is the first Sunday in Advent.  Our minds are turned toward Christmas and the gifts under trees.  We also turn our hearts the gifts of our Savior.  Isaiah was the prophet to a people in exile.  They had turned away from God and now they were far from home, but God had not turned away from them.  Isaiah proclaims that God is ready to restore a relationship with them, if they are willing to be molded like clay into the people they were intended to be.  Then God will remember their sin no more and salvation will return.  Clay is the symbol for today.  Some clay pots are simple; even crude.  Some clay is molded into intricate, beautiful designs.  If we are willing to be molded by God we are gifted and are a gift.

 

December 10  2nd Sunday of Advent

Scriptures:  Isa 40:1-11    2 Pet 3:8-15a  Ps 85:1-2, 8-13                Theme: The Gifts of Christmas – Flowers

Thoughts:  Flowers are a fleeting beauty, but they are worth so much because of their beauty.  We gift them as a symbol of our love, sympathy and honor.  Isaiah tells us that the people are like grass – beautiful for a moment and then fade and blow away.  But the steadfast love of God is forever.  Isaiah is telling the people in exile that even if 3 generations have been born in exile, God’s love endures forever.  2 Peter tells us that time for God is not as we reckon time, so be patient.  God has not forgotten.  Flowers are the symbol for today; to remind us that beauty fades but God’s love lasts forever.  Jesus is the gift of salvation that lasts forever.

 

December 17  3rd Sunday of Advent

Scriptures:  Isa 61:1-4, 8-11 Heb 1:1-12  Psalm 126              Theme:  The Gifts of Christmas – New Clothes

Thoughts:  New Clothes! There is nothing like it.  From a new, warm winter coat, or cozy sweater, to new shoes or pretty new dress, we love giving and receiving new clothes for Christmas.  Isaiah uses the image of new clothes to share the Good News of salvation.  God has anointed Jesus to proclaim the Good News, to heal the sick and comfort the broken hearted.  God is ready to change our rags of sin into the bright new clothes of salvation.  Hebrews tells us that all of creation wears out like old clothes, but God is ready to re-clothe us in Christ’s love.  New clothes are the symbols for today.  When we stand bare before the Lord, God is ready to clothe us with salvation.

 

December 24  4th Sunday of Advent   (NO SS & One Worship 10:30am)

Scriptures:  Isa 52:7-10   1 Thess 5:16-24   Psalm 98                Theme:  The Gifts of Christmas – Singing

Thoughts: Christmas carols really define Christmas.  We sing of the birth of Christ with song of joy and salvation.  Music is a true gift.  It is one of the greatest expressions of our deepest emotions.  We sing of love, sorrow, joy, patriotism, and victory.  On this day the gift of song expresses our joy that God had given us the gift of salvation through Jesus.  We sing our gift of gratitude to God.

 

December 24  Christmas Eve, Candle Light Services at 5pm & 7pm          Theme:  The Gifts of Christmas – The Child

Thoughts:  No gift can really compare with the gift of a child.  They can be a real pain; life is messy with them, but they are the best gifts ever.  Tonight we celebrate the gift of the Christ Child.  We sing, we take communion, and we light candles and sing some more.  God has given us the greatest gift of all.

 

December 31 1st Sunday after Christmas, 5th Sunday, One Worship 10:30

Scriptures:  Isa 61:10-62:5   Psalm 148   Gal 4:4-7                    Theme: One Final Gift

Thoughts: The gifts keep coming. The people once thought Forsaken because their God had allowed them to be sent into exile and their land laid desolate.  Now, God has restored our salvation and called us Delightful and Married.  Paul tells us we are co-heirs with Christ.  We are the Children of God and the riches of the Kingdom are ours.  And what are those riches – grace, life and salvation.