Showing posts from January, 2016

Sermon on 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a, for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, "One Body, Many Members, One Spirit"

 Sermon Outline: ·          Paul uses a vivid image to describe the church of Christ—one body, many members ·          Begins with objective reality: In One Spirit, all baptized into one body. Our entrance, identity, incorporation. ·          Illustrates the way we function together, on the one hand, how certain sins particular to the Christian body show themselves; on the other hand, what the body of Christ looks like at its best, as God intended. ·          Starting on the negative side—individualistic tendencies, rejection of our place in the body. Some today would use the language of self-esteem—but Scripture’s advice to us is not to think more of ourselves, but “not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.” Humility encourages us not to boast of ourselves. There is a “low thinking” that is not Godly—despair, worthlessness, and jealousy ·          Value as God values—both ourselves and others. Each important to the body, with different gifts and role

Sermon on Luke 3:15-22, for the Baptism of Our Lord, "In Baptism We are His"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. This past Wednesday, January 6, the season of Epiphany began. It’s the oldest season of our church year, and bridges between Christmas and Lent. Today we remember Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. There was a fervor or excitement when John’s ministry began—a fervor about all the promises of a Savior, the Christ, or Messiah, coming to His people. For people living in dark times, this ray of light was deeply welcome and hopeful. Christ, or Messiah, both mean “The Anointed One”—as in the One anointed and chosen by God to be the Savior. Today, we see Jesus being anointed in Baptism by the Holy Spirit, and God’s voice from heaven confirms Jesus is His Son and chosen one. The promises of a Savior were being realized as Jesus stepped into those baptismal waters, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him as a dove. John preached a message of preparation and readiness—of preparing people for Chris

Sermon on Luke 2:40-52, for the 2nd Sunday after Christmas, "Our Childhood Pattern"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Today is the 10 th day of Christmas! Counting from Christmas Day till today, it’s still the 10 th day that we celebrate and remember Jesus’ birth. And today we also remember Jesus’ childhood, from the only episode of His young life that we have written down—from the time in between His infancy and His adult ministry. Ever since the first few centuries, Christians have been really curious about what happened in those middle years—and even speculated with tall tales about it—but when we accept what the Scripture plainly does tell us, we don’t have to speculate. John 2 tells us that Jesus first miracle was at the wedding in Cana—so we know He wasn’t doing miracles as a child. Luke 3 tells us that Jesus began His public ministry (i.e. teaching) about age 30. And our single story from Jesus’ middle years, you hear today—shows the godly Holy Family, of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, faithfu