Sermons on Advent

How to Have Hope at Christmas

This profound passage is found only in Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus Christ, in Luke 2:22-35. The Latin phrase ‘Nunc Dimittis’ implies departure or permission to depart now, the grateful request embodied in Simeon’s song and prayer. That prayer was brief, but exhibited profound insight and encouragement. Simeon praises God for keeping a […]

Why the Word Became Flesh

In time, the promised birth of a son to childless Zechariah and Elizabeth came about — John was born. His father’s song, the “Benedictus,” named after the first words of the song, is found in Luke 1:67-79, and it starts, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption […]

The Underside of Christmas

We come this week to the most difficult and tragic part of the Christmas story, an event known as “the slaughter of the innocents.” In fact, this is one of the most difficult and tragic texts in all of Scripture, and it raises some very difficult questions: Why this way? How could God let this […]

Silent Night, Fearful Night

In this second week of advent, we come to the familiar story of the angels appearing to the shepherds. Once again, a scene we know well – but put yourself there: Amid lowly, simple shepherds who suddenly see the glory of God. The angel may say, “Do not be afraid,” but for them, at least at […]

The Return of Ichabod

Christmas is such a time of longing – and waiting. We look forward with expectancy. We are excited about what is to come. But we also have within us a longing for something we have lost; for something wonderful to be restored. The Bible tells us that “we all have sinned – and fall short of the […]

The Word of Peace

Peace. We long for it personally and as a world-wide community. We sing about, march for it, and call for it in our blogs. But it always seems to elude us, and may now seem further away than ever before. Into that longing comes today’s text — a surprising announcement to a surprising audience. What […]

The Other Side of Christmas

We associate the Christmas story with angels, shepherds, donkeys, and a cute little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. All of that is true, and it is part of the story – but there is another part. A part that tells of a Savior who came to die and a boy who would grow up to […]