Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Let It Be

Sermon Notes for December 24, 2017

Read 1 Samuel 7:1-16 and Luke 1:26-38

As Protestants, we tend not to spend too much time talking about Mary. Sure, she gets a spot in the nativity play, but she usually doesn't say much. The focus is always on the newborn baby and those who have come to praise him.

Yet Mary is a remarkable person in her own right. She shows a faith and courage that few other people in the Bible manage, and at the same time, she was a completely ordinary girl. She was not someone of wealth or power or prestige. She just was a girl engaged to be married.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Voices in the Wilderness

Sermon Notes for December 10, 2017

Read Isaiah 40:1-11 and Mark 1:1-8

This morning we hear from two prophets, and one of them even quotes the other. Did you notice that part of the passage from Mark sounded familiar? It's because it was a quote directly from the Isaiah passage.

Now prophet is a word that is often misunderstood today. When people hear the word prophet, they often think of someone who tells the future, usually with dire predictions and warnings. But in the Bible, the term prophet is used for someone who speaks the truth. They are not fortune-tellers, not forecasters of the future, not doomsday prognosticators. They are only predictors of what is to come if that future makes sense because of or due to present behavior. They are analyzers of the “now” for the sake of moving toward a different future. It is someone who looks at what has happened before in the world and sees it happening again and says "Hey, this turned out badly last time. It will again. Stop doing that." It has nothing to do with seeing the future, and everything to do with understanding the past.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Keep Awake

Sermon Notes for December 3, 2017

Read Mark 13:24-37, which foretells an astonishing event!

Well, this is not exactly the passage we expect to begin the journey to Christmas, is it?

It doesn't seem very focused on the holiday, now does it? Instead of joyful cheer, we get this passage about the future and destruction and the coming of Christ. While we are waiting for this momentous event, we have a call to keep awake!