Sermon 01-08-2023: “God’s Beloved Sons and Daughters”

January 12, 2023

Scripture: Matthew 3:11-17

Let me begin by asking, Did anyone make New Year’s Resolutions?

I don’t typically make them myself… but I’m afraid a new year’s resolution was made on my behalf. You see, I had a checkup with my doctor recently. And all was well, I’m happy to report. But he did tell me that I’m not hydrated enough; that I’m not drinking enough water. 

How much is “enough”? He told me: “Two liters of water a day minimum.”

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Sermon 12-25-2022: “For We Saw His Star When It Rose and Have Come To Worship Him”

January 12, 2023

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

What can we learn from these magi, or wise men, in today’s scripture about finding Jesus, following Jesus, and falling in love with Jesus? I want to focus on three things: The first thing we learn is that we all need God’s word, holy scripture. The second thing is that Jesus wants to be in a saving relationship with everyone… He wants to be at the very center of everyone’s life. And when he is—the third thing—Jesus changes everything…

But first, in order to find, follow, and fall in love with Jesus, we need to listen to his Word, the Bible…

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Sermon 12-24-2022: “The Sign of A Manger”

January 9, 2023

Scripture: Luke 2:1-20

Tonight’s scripture is, of course, the very scripture that Charlie Brown’s one faithful friend, Linus, reads during the classic TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas. Linus reads it, you may recall, after Charlie Brown asks, in frustration, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus says, “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” 

And then Linus reads this passage… Did you know, by the way, that CBS executives were nervous about this scene, and they tried to have Charles Schulz and the producers cut it because it was just… so… um… religious? because it was so specifically Christian? As if Christmas isn’t, first and foremost, a Christian celebration!

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Sermon 12-18-2022: “The What, the How, and the What Now of Christmas”

December 28, 2022

Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25

In today’s sermon, I want to address three important questions that today’s scripture helps to answer: First, the what… What is Christmas? What does it mean? Second, the how… How does Jesus fulfill the meaning of Christmas. And, third, the what now… How do we live our lives now in light of Christmas—more specifically, what can we learn from Joseph about living in light of Christmas?

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Sermon 12-11-2022: “Are You The One Who Is To Come?”

December 28, 2022

Scripture: Matthew 11:2-11

I want to make three points in today’s sermon: Point Number One, doubt is a perfectly normal part of a believer’s life. Point Number Two, there’s a deeper, more subtle kind of doubt to which Christians are especially susceptible. Point Number Three, overcoming this doubt helps us reinterpret life’s disappointments.

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Sermon 12-04-2022: “Two Kinds of Fear”

December 28, 2022

Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-9

Today’s sermon is about what Isaiah refers to as “the fear of the Lord.” But “fear of the Lord” can be easily misunderstood. So I want to make two points about it. In Point Number One, I want to talk about the bad kind of fear. Then, in Point Number Two, I want to talk about the good and healthy kind of fear.

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Sermon 11-27-2022: “About that Day and Hour No One Knows”

December 5, 2022

Scripture: Matthew 24:36-44

On this First Sunday of Advent, I feel a little like “the Grinch who stole Christmas.” Like the Whos in Whoville, your Christmas decorations are out, your tree is trimmed, you’ve strung your Christmas lights, you’re singing Christmas songs. And if the presents aren’t yet wrapped and put under the tree, you’re at least well on your way… You are in the midst of buying Christmas presents. 

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Sermon 11-20-2022: “Because Christ Is King”

December 1, 2022

Scripture: Luke 23:33-43

You probably didn’t know this, but today is the “New Year’s Eve.” I know that sounds strange, but the Christian calendar doesn’t exactly match the calendar that we use. So today is the last Sunday of the Christian year—a special Sunday known as “Christ the King.” Next week, the first Sunday of Advent, begins a new year. But on this last Sunday of the year, we traditionally focus on the important truth that Christ is the world’s one and only, true king. And to make that point, churches like ours—and many others of different denominations around the world—are preaching today’s scripture from Luke’s gospel.

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Sermon 11-13-2022: “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”

November 30, 2022

Scripture: Luke 21:5-19

A couple of weeks ago I was at my gym, running on a treadmill. And you know how gyms have an array of TV sets in front of you, tuned to various channels. They always have the major cable news networks on. I’ve never in my life tried to listen to the sound of any of these TVs at the gym—don’t even know how to do that… I just listen to music or whatever. But as I was running, I was looking at the TV screens—without the sound—and I was struck by a headline that I saw on one of the news networks. It was something like this: “Asteroid the size of eight football fields heading toward earth. Are we in danger?”

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Sermon 11-06-2022: “I’m Forever Yours, Faithfully”

November 30, 2022

Scripture: Luke 20:27-38

In this All Saints Sunday sermon, I’m going to talk a lot about heaven. And when I say “heaven,” I’m referring to what the Bible describes as a two-stage kind of afterlife: When we die, the Bible says we go to be with the Lord immediately. Remember the criminal on the cross? Jesus tells him, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” Paul refers to Paradise when he says, “To live is Christ and to die is gain,” that life in Paradise is “better by far” than continuing to live in this world, and when he says that “to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ.” 1

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