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Sermon for the 4th Sunday of Lent  2019

March 31, 2019

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Sermon for Second Sunday of Advent 2018

December 9, 2018

Isaiah 40:1-11               Psalm 85: 1-2, 8-13                 Philippians 1:3-11

Luke 3:1-6


      As Shane and his wife were driving home from church, she mentioned, “Cindy sure is putting on weight. Do you think she’s pregnant?”   “I didn’t notice dear.”  “Well, did you see how short Diane’s skirt was?  And at her age.”   “I’m sorry, dear, I didn’t notice.”  “Surely you noticed the way the Smiths let their kids crawl all over everything during worship.”  “No, dear, I didn’t notice that either.”  “Honestly, Shane, I don’t even know why you go to church anymore!”   Ah, living in community - how we view the community of faith is important in how we live into it.

           All the readings for this day focus on the coming acts of God.  The dominant mood is one of joyful expectation, but not without some reference to the dark background that precedes the coming salvation.  Malachi’s messenger of the covenant brings good news to Jerusalem, but also a period of purifying judgment.  The Song of Zechariah affirms the coming of the messiah and looks to the culmination of God’s promise and peace.  Paul’s warm and joyful thanksgiving for the community at Philippi, looks toward to the “day of Christ.”  The Gospel reading reports the call of John the Baptist, characterizes his message as a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and cites the announcement of salvation from Isaiah (40:3-5).