Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sermon Christmas Day

‘And the Word became flesh
and dwelt [tabernacled] among us,
and we have seen his glory;
the glory as of a father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

The book of Exodus records
that Moses the murderer was fleeing for his life.
In the wilderness,
he was brought up short by a strange sight,
a bush that was on fire,
but which retained its shape and its leaves and its branches
despite the light and heat that so obviously emanated from it.
He must have thought that he was out of his mind.
But a voice told him to take off his shoes,
and he did so,
because he was in the presence
of the God of his fathers,
the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and this God was going to lead his people out of slavery.

Christmas Eve Sermon

The word ‘grace’ can have a number of different meanings.
We speak of the fluid beauty of a dancer’s steps,
or the effortless ease by which some people
adroitly handle themselves in public.
Someone is ‘gracious,’
they overlook other people’s faults,
and take us by surprise with kindness.
We have a ‘grace period,’
in which we are able to make up
what should have been done earlier.
Our worship space today is ‘graced’
with the greenery and the candles and the poinsettias.
We are graced with the music of the organ and the choir.

Happy St Stephen's Day!!!

The First Deacon :

The First Martyr:
'The birth of Jesus is more than a commemoration of his birthday. His birth into this world prefigures the birth into the next world of his martyrs, who follow in his train. The birth of Christ is a judgment on the persecution and rejection of God and his word, and means joy for those who remain faithful and steadfast even in the face of great persecution. These are days of judgment as well as joy. 
'On what in Germany is called 'second Christmas day,' the church celebrates another birth, the birth into heaven of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. His feast day is yet another way of declaring the church's confidence that the outcome of the Christian struggle is certain. It is a further testimony to the kingdom made ready for God's epople, prepared now for those who would 'take it by force' (Matt. 11:12). 
'Stephen, who, Luke reports, was 'full of grace and power and did great wonders among the people,' was the first of the band of martyrs to follow Christ through death into life and is therefore sometimes called 'Proto-martyr.' His devotion to the faith, his love for his persecutors, and his dramatic death by stoning that is reported in detail in Acts 6-7 make this deacon and martyr a much-revered figure among the saints.'
- Philip Pfatteicher 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Worship

Please join us for our Christmas Worship Services:

Christmas Eve at 7:30 pm

Christmas Day at 10:30 am

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sermon 4th Sunday of Advent

Sermon 3rd Sunday of Advent

Day by day,
the anticipation builds.
Day by day,
people open another door on their Advent calendar,
today, we light another candle on the Advent wreath.
Day by day,
we are given more and more glimpses of the day of rejoicing to come.
While our secular rites of Christmas
have been largely made devoid of their explicitly Christian meaning,
for the initated,
they still resound with the themes of Christ.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sermon 2nd Sunday of Advent

‘In the fifteenth year of the Emperor Tiberius…’
Luke starts chapter 3 of his Gospel
in the style of a good historian.
After marking the time based upon the beginning of Tiberius’s accession
to the throne of the Roman Empire,
Luke goes on to list the many men
who ruled on behalf of the Emperor in the lands of the Jews:
Pontius Pilate, and Herod Antipas and Philip and Lysanias.
He mentions the religious leaders:
the high priest at the time, Caiaphas,
advised by the last high priest, his father, Annas.
Finally, after all of this,
Luke gets to what happened when,
something he could have mentioned without the names and dates,
‘The Word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.’