Messages on Advent

Messages on Advent

What About Joseph?

What do you think was going through Joseph’s mind when Mary told him this amazing story about the angel’s proclamation? “Does she really expect me to believe this?” Can you imagine how disappointed he must have been? As Mary’s betrothed, he had the option of having her stoned to death… he could do that if he wanted to deal with the shame. No, he was going to dismiss her quietly so that they could both move on with their lives.…

Mary Did You Know?

Mark Lowry wrote a poem in 1984 to be used in a Christmas play at his church.  Music was added in the early 90’s and a Christmas classic was born. The song asks Mary if she knew what her newborn baby would accomplish in life. Well, according to Luke’s Gospel, she did know. She expressed her knowledge when visiting her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist (see Luke 1:39-56). The knowledge that Mary had was that her…

An Encounter With An Angel

Our Scriptures for this Second Sunday of Advent are Isaiah 7:14-16, Psalm 80:1-7, and Luke 1:26-38. The candle representing peace is lit in the Advent wreath and takes its place with the candle of hope that was lit last week. Our theme this week is the encounter between Mary and the angel Gabriel. In a week when we have heard another reason to fear with the Michigan school shooting, we need to hear the angel’s message that we don’t need…

Time to Go Home

Happy New Year, Church! Today is the first Sunday in Advent, marking the beginning of a new liturgical year. Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of Messiah. Today, we introduce you to the season and a new series based upon Advent entitled Come Home for Christmas.  When we think of Christmas/Advent, we don’t usually think of an apocalyptic text. Yet, that is what we find in the Gospel for today, Luke 21:25-36. When paired with the Old Testament…

Is It So, Joe?

What do you think was going through Joseph’s mind when Mary told him this amazing story about the angel’s proclamation? “Does she really expect me to believe this?” Can you imagine how disappointed he must have been? As Mary’s betrothed, he had the option of having her stoned to death… he could do that if he wanted to deal with the shame. No, he was going to dismiss her quietly so that they could both move on with their lives.…

A Revolutionary Idea

This morning we join Mary as she visits with Elizabeth, the mother of the boy who will be known as John the Baptizer. After Elizabeth greets Mary, the baby jumps in her womb. Mary responds to this greeting with a statement that has come to be known as The Magnificat, one of the most revolutionary declarations of all time. She declares that the Messiah will turn the world upside down and the world has been reverberating from that declaration ever…

Touched By An Angel

Imagine what it must have been like to be Mary when the angel Gabriel appeared to her. He told her that she was favored by God and that she would bear the Son of God. She must have been frightened and confused. “How can this be?” she asked. But in the end, her response was a response of faith and trust, “let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, NRSV). Join us this morning as Pastor Wayne…

People, Get Ready

Happy New Year, Church!  Today is the first Sunday in Advent which means that we have entered into a new liturgical year in the life of the church. Advent is a time of preparation. We prepare for the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child, yes. But it is also a time when we prepare ourselves for the return of Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But we don’t fret about the “end times.” Jesus told…

Finding Hope in the Desert

The secular world encourages us to seek Christmas earlier and earlier each year. But the hope of Christmas, the hope that Advent encourages us to seek, is not found in the halls of commerce. In his sermon this morning, this morning of the second Sunday of Advent, Pastor Wayne introduces us to John the Baptist, a prophet who “makes the way straight” for the coming of the Lord, but who will never be found on a Hallmark Christmas Card. The…

Choosing a Journey of Peace

Happy New Year! Well, it is if you’re looking at the church calendar. This is the first Sunday of Advent. We begin the preparations, not for the coming of a baby in the manger, but for the coming of our Messiah, Emmanuel, God made flesh… or, as Eugene Peters phrases it in The Message, “God put on skin and moved into the neighborhood.” Pastor Wayne’s message today is based on Isaiah 2:1-5 with a reference to Matthew 24:36-44. We’ll explore…