Sunday, December 25, 2016

December 25, 2016 - Christmas Day

In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Merry Christmas! It is a joy to be with you this most holy of mornings. As it often is, the Gospel text for Christmas morning, which this year also happens to be the Lord’s Day, is the prologue from the Gospel according to John. This is one of the best-known passages in all of Scripture and it really captures what we might call the most important claim of our faith – that the Word became flesh. Sure, the Cross was important, and so was the Resurrection, as was Jesus’ teaching, but none of that happens if the Word doesn’t become flesh first. So this morning, before us is the cornerstone of our Christian faith and life.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 - Christmas Eve

In the name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Merry Christmas! On this most holy of nights we come together, way past bedtime for some of us, to sing songs, hear lessons, and partake in a holy meal. These hymns, lessons, and meal all point toward something rather odd though. We’ve grown so accustomed to the Christmas story that we forget how absolutely absurd it all is.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

December 18, 2016 - Advent 4A

O come, O come Emmanuel. Amen.
            Are you ready? Today is the final Sunday of Advent; and Christmas, both the religious festival and the secular holiday, awaits. So, are you ready? This Advent, I’ve been preaching about preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ, both as an infant born in Bethlehem and as our king and judge at the last.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

December 11, 2016 - Advent 3A

O come, O come Emmanuel. Amen.
            “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” That’s the question, isn’t it? Is Jesus the one in whom the hopes and dreams of all the years find their fulfillment? Is Jesus the Messiah, God Incarnate? Or is Jesus only a prophet and wise teacher? Because if Jesus is the one whom history has been waiting for, then there are huge implications for our lives and our faith. But if we’re supposed to be waiting for another, well, I’m probably out of a job.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 4, 2016 - Advent 2A

O come, O come Emmanuel. Amen.
            The message of Advent is “prepare.” But you might ask, “prepare for what?” To celebrate Christmas with a heart full of joy? To be ready to serve those in need? To be faithful so that when Christ comes again we will be judged as righteous? It matters what we are preparing for. The way that I prepare to go to the hardware store isn’t at all the way that I prepare for a meeting with the Bishop. If your teacher tells you that there will be a test tomorrow, but doesn’t tell you whether it’s going to be in math, history, biology, or English, well, it’s going to be a lot harder to be prepared. Too often, the message of Advent is “prepare for Christ’s coming,” and we’re left wondering what that really means. If we don’t know what it is that we’re preparing for, it’s nearly impossible to actually be ready.