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Showing posts from December 9, 2018

What Brings You Joy?

Here are a few thoughts for Advent 3 that were shared via email with the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. 
Second Reading: Philippians 4:4-7 4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. This Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent, Joy Sunday. The reading from Philippians is very fitting for that theme. We will also experience the joy of the cantata, “The Light Before Christmas,” done by our choir. 
Paul was in prison when he wrote these words and yet he was able to tell the Philippians to rejoice. There are many aspects of joy and many things that bring us joy. For Paul, it’s obvious that his rock-solid relationship with God was his main source of joy. Out of that, was his…

God's Word in the Wilderness

This is the sermon I preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church on Sunday, 12/9/18. The text was Luke 3:1-6
We have in the very beginning of today’s gospel a list of 7 rulers of that time. Imagine these verses as a movie in which we see the known world, the center of which is Rome and we slowly zoom in – but not where we expect. Now, who of all of these does God choose?
Emperor Tiberius-nope Pontius Pilate—nope Herod-nope Philip-nope Lysanius-nope Anna’s and Caiaphas-nope John…yep…wait…who?
Once again, God chooses the most unlikely candidate in the most unlikely place. After all, Judea, in which were Jerusalem and Bethlehem, was a mere backwater of the world and John the Baptist was a nobody. But what God is doing through him will affect everything—even up to the emperor. In this list, we also have a foreshadowing of what was to come in Jesus’ confrontations with Annas and Caiaphas, Herod and Pilate. This, after all, is the world of a God who is completely involved in the geopolitical and histori…