Skip to main content

Christmas Day

 This is the short homily I shared Christmas Day with the people of St Timothy and St. Mark Lutheran Churches. The scripture text was Luke 2:8-20.
In this passage from Luke, we see the angels appearing not to the elite and rich. They appeared to shepherds, who were one of the lowest on the societal totem pole. Shepherds were looked down upon even to the point where their testimony was not allowed in a court of law. Once again, God turned the world upside down by appearing to nobodies and giving them news of earth shaking possibilities. Don't we see that happen in today's world--where God moves outside of our perfect little boxes and does something totally unexpected or appears to the most unacceptable?

We can be sure that if we are open to possibilities, God will appear to us in any number of ways. After all, Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us He brings “good news of great joy [to] all the people.”

I'm sure some of our gifts have already been been opened and it is likely there are still more to come. There's the excitement of everyone guessing just what their gifts may be.  Have you ever opened a gift and it was exactly the very thing you wanted? It doesn't get much better than that, does it? It can be such a exciting time. Isn't that what Christmas is all about? Yes, its about the birth of Jesus as a baby, but it goes much deeper than that. Jesus is the greatest gift that God could ever give his people. "God so loved the world, that he gave the world his own son, so that all who would believe in him, would have eternal life" (John 3:16}.

Now THAT'S a gift!

God's gift of life is for each and every one of us. God makes us his own in baptism, feeds us with the gift of holy communion and surrounds us with a church family of faith each day of our lives.

God wants to have an intimate relationship with us. We can ignore God, despite the many gifts he has given us, especially the gift of His Son, But he's going to keep reaching out to us again and again and again until we respond to him.

So, what do we do with this great gift that God has given us?  We share it with others. As the spiritual says, "Go tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born."



Popular posts from this blog

If and If and If

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 10/1/17 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church. The scripture text is Philippians 2:1-13

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of my favorites. It is full of positive, uplifting theology, like “RejoiceintheLordalways; again I will say, Rejoice (Phil. 4:4 ). It’s a feel-good kind of letter. Today’s passage from Philippians is chock full of great stuff and I could get at least 10 sermons out of

I'm Back & Giving Thanks

Sunday, 9/17, was my first Sunday back in the pulpit after 7 months. I am not completely healed from February's back surgery, but am mostly there. The doctor is letting me work only part time until our next visit. This is the sermon from Sunday, 9/17, preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church.  based on Psalm 103 1:-13.
When I read today’s lessons, I couldn’t take my eyes of of Psalm 103. This psalm is an individual psalm of one who was struggling in a desperate situation, who called out to God and God delivered him.This is my story too.
As most of you know, I had back surgery in Feb. and I too, received God’s deliverance. Following the back surgery, I contracted an Ecoli infection that nearly killed me. I am here today to declare with the psalmist: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits…”
The odd thing about this psalm is that it isn’t a prayer. It is not ad…

Flying Rebukes

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 2/25/18 at St. Timothy. Lutheran Church. The text was Mark 8:31-38. 

Immediately before today’s gospel reading, Jesus had asked his disciples who people say that he is. This is where the light went on for Peter and he made the confession, “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29). Peter certainly gave the right answer and was likely thinking of the attributes given to whoever would be the Messiah. The Messiah, people thought, would deliver them from the crushing rule of the Romans. The Messiah would fight their enemies. Basically, the Messiah was a strong king-like figure.
But, now Jesus fleshes out for Peter and others what that is going to look like. They were completely unprepared for the reality.
“Jesus began to teach them” (v. 31). Hadn’t he been teaching the disciples all along? Maybe, but this was different. This wasn’t teaching about miracles and healing. This is the turning point in Mark’s gospel, marking a new beginning.
“Jesus began to teach the…