Series: Advent

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Epiphany

By |December 30th, 2019|Categories: Series: Advent, Sermons|Tags: , |

For those of us in the Protestant tradition, Epiphany is one of those dates on the church calendar that is often overlooked. In the Western Church, Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th. In the Orthodox tradition, Epiphany is celebrated on January 19th. This is due to a difference in calendars. The Gregorian calendar is used in most of the world and for the international date and time standard (ISO). But in some parts of the [...]

Favorite Carols: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

By |December 18th, 2019|Categories: Articles, Series: Advent|Tags: |

One of the things I love about the Christmas season is the music, especially the old traditional Christmas carols. Many of them date back to the 19th century, but some date to the 17th and 18th centuries or are set to music that is much older. One of my favorites is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. According to C. Michael Hawn, its origins can be traced to an 8th or 9th century Latin antiphon. An [...]

Counting Down the Days

By |December 13th, 2019|Categories: Articles, Series: Advent|Tags: |

When I was a child, we had an Advent Calendar that my Mom had made. It was made of red felt with white felt numbers to count the days and little ribbons under each number where she would tie Brach’s Christmas Nougat candies. My sisters and I looked forward each evening to taking one more candy off and seeing Christmas get one day closer. I don’t know about you, but for me, the Advent calendar [...]

Advent Series: Christ

By |December 24th, 2018|Categories: Articles, Isaiah, John, Series: Advent|Tags: |

There is a simple Christmas carol called, I Wonder as I Wander (John Jacob Niles, 1933). Do you know it? With its haunting melody and simple words, it reflects the awe of the coming of Jesus as Immanuel, God with us. I wonder as I wander out under the sky How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die For poor orn'ry people like you and like I; I wonder as I wander out under [...]

Advent Series: Angels

By |December 20th, 2018|Categories: 1 Peter, Articles, Series: Advent|Tags: , |

When someone mentions angels in connection with the Christmas story, what do you think of first? The angel Gabriel announcing God’s plan to Mary? A great chorus of angels singing “Glory to God!” while the shepherds looked on in awe? Angels played an integral part in communicating certain specific instructions from God for events surrounding the birth of Jesus: Announcing the birth of John: An angel announced to Zacharias the birth of a long-awaited son. [...]

Advent Series: Shepherds

By |December 14th, 2018|Categories: Articles, Luke, Series: Advent|Tags: |

As I was thinking this morning about the shepherds, an image of Charlie Brown’s Christmas came to mind, particularly the scene where Linus explains to Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about. Linus walks center stage with his blanket, and recites Luke’s account of angels announcing the good news of the Savior to shepherds out in the fields: Luke 2:8   And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over [...]

Advent Series: Bethlehem

By |December 6th, 2018|Categories: Articles, Luke, Matthew, Micah, Series: Advent|Tags: |

Pictured: A middle-eastern sheepfold. Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth… When we think of Bethlehem, we think of the manger. We think of Mary and Joseph traveling from their home in Nazareth while Mary was heavy with child. We think of their arrival in Bethlehem to find no room for them because of the crowds arriving for the [...]

Advent Series: Prophets

By |November 29th, 2018|Categories: Articles, Isaiah, Series: Advent|Tags: , |

Advent is the name we traditionally give to the weeks preceding Christmas. In Latin, advent means “coming.” During Advent, we prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus as a sweet, helpless infant sent to be our Savior. In this series, I invite you to join with me in contemplating the Christmas story from these perspectives: Prophets, Bethlehem, Shepherds, Angels, Christ. First, the Prophets. To fully grasp the significance of prophecy as it describes the coming [...]