Showing posts from December, 2014

A War Cry: Shepherd and Angels - Luke 2:8-20

When you think of Christmas angels, what images come to mind?For most of us, pageants over the years, have left us with images of pretty, young angels, often female, singing over a field of shepherds.What if, however, we pictured the group of angels, less like a professional music group dressed in choir robes singing…and more like a group of angels, swords by their sides, standing in military formation, who just happened to be gifted in music and singing.Why this image?We’ll explore that in just a few moments.
We have taken a break from our sermon journey through the Christmas story as, first the choir, and then the children, led us in wonderful times of praising God and considering the gift of God found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.We give thanks and praise to God for their gifts that they were willing to share with us.Today, though, we pick our journey back up.
Let’s take a moment to remember where we have been on this journey, that we have entitled, “A War Cry,” so we will hav…

How To Keep Christ in Christmas - Isaiah 7:14; 9:2, 6-7; 11:1-9; 61:1-3; Luke 2:1-20

How many of you are tired of the “war on Christmas”?How many of you, like me, are really tired of hearing about the “war on Christmas”?Now don’t get me wrong.I truly believe that Christmas is about Christ.I really believe that without Christ, there is no reason to celebrate or observe Christmas.I think if we go to a Christmas party or Christmas parade or even a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and there is no reference to Christ, then there is something wrong.If we celebrate Christmas, then we must do everything we can to make sure that Christ is kept in Christmas.
So how do we keep Christ in Christmas?Well, surprisingly, it has nothing to do with whether a manger scene is displayed on city property or a holiday tree is decorated at the White House; it has nothing to do whether or not children are able to sing “Away in the Manger” during their winter festival program at school; it has nothing to do with whether the cashier tells us “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” or simply “have a…

A War Cry: A Baby - Luke 2:1-7

Our war march began in Bethlehem.We recognized that this little town is more than a sleepy little village of Christmas cards and carols, and holds a very dark history—a history of idolatry and betrayal, a history of prejudice and brutality, a history of violence and death.When the Lord of all Creation decided to take on sin and evil once and for all, He entered on front lines—He entered this town plagued with its diminutive size and its past.In doing so, God says to each of us, “there is no place that is too small and no place too dark for Me to enter in and bring light, hope, and victory.”
As we continued, we discovered Mary—not the Mary that so many young girls volunteer to be in all her splendor and glory in the popular Christmas pageants—but the real Mary, a scared, hesitant volunteer in God’s battle plan.A young thirteen year old girl who risked and was rejected by family and her community, and possibly narrowly escaped stoning, as she found herself unwed and pregnant.Her only ref…

A War Cry: Joseph and Family - Matthew 1:18-25

Almost every family has one.The family gathers, and there they are.They couldn’t stay at home, you couldn’t not invite them (well you could, but then there’s all the disruption that would cause in and of itself—there’s the whole thing of not letting the rest of the world know about that person and your family’s problem with them).So they show up…and it’s clear to everyone there that you really don’t want them around.If there’s a meal, they don’t get to sit at the main table (or if they do, the hosts have already worked out ahead of time who has to sit beside them).When they walk into a room, the conversation completely grinds to a halt (most likely because the conversation was about how everyone couldn’t believe they had the nerve to show up, considering what they had done).Maybe they rang your doorbell this past Thursday.Maybe you were the one ringing the doorbell.
We are in week three of our “A War Cry” journey, as we consider the signs of God’s declaration of war that we call Christ…