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Sermon for the 4th Sunday of Lent  2019

March 31, 2019

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Sermon for Third Sunday of Advent 2018

December 16, 2018

Zephaniah 3:14-20               Canticle 9    Philippians 4:4-7       Luke 3:7-18

 

     A husband and wife had been married for 60 years and had no secrets except one: the woman had a shoe box in her closet that she didn’t let her husband open.  But when she was on her deathbed – and with her blessing- he opened the box and found a crocheted doll and $95,000 in cash.  “My mother told me that the secret to a happy marriage was to never argue,”  she explained.  “Instead, I should keep quiet and crochet a doll.”  Her husband was touched.  Only one doll was in the box – that means she’d been angry with him only once in 60 years.  “But what about all this money?” he asked.  She said, “oh, that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.”  The husband saw himself one way….

       How was John the Baptist seen?  There had not been a prophet in Israel for more than 400 years.  It was widely believed that when the Messiah came, prophecy would reappear (Joel 2:28,29; Malachi 3:1,; 4:5).  When John burst upon the scene, the people were excited.  He was obviously a great prophet, and they were sure that the eagerly awaited age of the Messiah had come.  Some, in fact, thought John was the Messiah.  John spoke like the prophets of old, saying that the people must turn from their sin to avoid punishment and turn to God to experience his mercy.  This is a message for all times and places, but John spoke with such urgency – he was preparing the people for the coming Messiah.

      When people see us,