Today marks the beginning of the Advent season and the beginning of a new Christian year. For four weeks we will look ahead with anticipation to both the celebration of the birth of Christ and the Lord’s eventual return. It is a season of excitement, of busyness, and of magnificent colors and decorations. It is a season of hope.
That word, hope, is among the key words of Advent. It is one that we need today. Hope is something that seems to be absent in our lives and in our world this season. We approach this start to the Advent season wondering if hope exist today or may be felt in a world of tears, brokenness, and death. Continue reading
Throughout my ministry, I have preached on many passages that have led to a wide selection of interpretations and reflections. There have been passages where I have not known where to begin. There have been scriptures where I was never quite sure which angle to take, and sermons where it was as much for me as it was the congregation that I preached the message to.
Those sermons come after much prayer and reflection, with hope for a sermon that speaks to both myself and the congregation. A professor of mine once told me that if the sermon does not speak to you, then it will never speak to the person in the pew. Continue reading
I love meatloaf.
There is something unique about it. Something you just do not expect when you first experience it. Something that catches you off guard and leaves you wondering what it really was.
I mean, really, who among us has not been shocked that an overweight and sweaty guy could belt out rock ballads like he was singing on an opera stage?
By now, I think you know I am not thinking about the meat dish, though I am a fan of that as well. I am thinking about the rock artist Meat Loaf. I’ve been a fan of his for some time. What I find enjoyable about his music is that it as unique as the meat dish that he derives his stage moniker from. You never know what to expect with Meat Loaf. Continue reading
A couple of days ago there was a photo that made its way around the Internet. In this particular photo was a picture of a turkey having an intense conversation with Santa Claus. The turkey wanted to remind Santa that November was his month and that Santa would have to wait until December. This turkey was not interested anyone else grabbing the spotlight.
It was a funny photo, but think about how appropriate it is for us. We are approaching a very busy stretch run that takes us through the end of the year that already seems to be underway. The Holiday Sprint from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day where our calendars are filled and we have a long list of things to do. They say this is the “most wonderful time of the year,” and it is, but we’re often too busy to really enjoy these two months. Continue reading
After months and months of ads, campaigning, and rhetoric, tomorrow we will go to the polls to vote for the leaders we believe will best serve and guide us. We pray for this day, tomorrow, for your wisdom and discernment. We pray for our nation and our leaders and ask that we will be guided by your truth and love. We pray for the days that will follow the election and pray that we may come together to serve you and care for the people of our communities. Guide us and show us your way today, tomorrow, and always. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Every book of the Bible, especially the New Testament, has a niche to it. A specific aim or purpose that is used as a focus point in order to express the Good News of Jesus Christ. For instance John writes a theological explanation of Jesus’ life and mission. Romans is Paul’s attempt to introduce himself to the Roman church while also offering some perspectives on how he understood God’s grace. As well, 1 and 2 Corinthians are letters written by Paul that address ongoing issues in the church in Corinth.
Hebrews is no different. It has a specific niche or purpose to it, yet it is also a book that is unlike any other. It is more of a sermon than it is a letter. A sermon preached to an audience that is an attempt to express Jesus’ mission in terms they could understand and, ultimately, lead to a deeper faith and trust in Christ. Continue reading