Sermons

Text: Jeremiah 32:6-15

Speaker: C. Joseph Sprague

Audio only

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/20150104sermon.mp3

Text: Matthew 2:1-12

For most of the last dozen years, between Christmas and New Year’s, Abbie and I have made the trek out to Western Kansas.  This is where Abbie grew up and where much of her extended family still lives.  Because it’s such a long drive we stay for over a week.  It’s a pretty laid back time.  We visit with family, maybe do a project in Grandpa Marlin’s woodshop, read, play games, eat, etc.  This year included some playing in the little bit of snow that fell a couple days after Christmas.

Some of you may know Kansas as that long stretch of nothing before you get to the mountains.  And you’d be mostly right.

What’s especially wonderful about Western Kansas is that it’s almost nothing.  When you get out of the car and spend some time there, there’s a rare spaciousness all around you, full of almost nothing.  It’s a place where the Advent prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled:  Every valley has been lifted up, every mountain and hill has been made low; the uneven ground has become level, and the rough places a plain.  Take a walk or a run on a dirt...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/20150104sermon.mp3

Text: Matthew 2:1-12

For most of the last dozen years, between Christmas and New Year’s, Abbie and I have made the trek out to Western Kansas.  This is where Abbie grew up and where much of her extended family still lives.  Because it’s such a long drive we stay for over a week.  It’s a pretty laid back time.  We visit with family, maybe do a project in Grandpa Marlin’s woodshop, read, play games, eat, etc.  This year included some playing in the little bit of snow that fell a couple days after Christmas.

Some of you may know Kansas as that long stretch of nothing before you get to the mountains.  And you’d be mostly right.

What’s especially wonderful about Western Kansas is that it’s almost nothing.  When you get out of the car and spend some time there, there’s a rare spaciousness all around you, full of almost nothing.  It’s a place where the Advent prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled:  Every valley has been lifted up, every mountain and hill has been made low; the uneven ground has become level, and the rough places a plain.  Take a walk or a run on a dirt...

Texts: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Luke 2:22-40

Growing up we had an Advent tradition in our house that is probably familiar to many of you as well.  A few weeks before Christmas, my mother would have us clear off all the clutter that had been accumulating throughout the year on the hutch near the main entrance to our home.  Once that was done, she would pull down from the attic a big box full of smaller unmarked cardboard boxes.  One by one we would then carefully move the small boxes out onto the kitchen table.  I think the fact that my brothers and I could never seem to remember after a whole year which unmarked box was which gave this normally mundane task a real sense of the mystery of ritual. 

Finally, with the utmost care, one of us would open the first box, carefully sliding out the Styrofoam casing or bubble-wrap and exclaim something like, “I found an angel!”  Or perhaps less excitedly, “I got a sheep.”  Once we freed the Precious Moments figurine from its box, we’d place it on the cleared-off spot on the hutch where we thought it should go before returning to see what treasures the...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/20141221sermon.mp3

Texts: 2 Samuel 7:1-11; Luke 1:26-38

On this final Sunday of Advent, we eavesdrop on conversations between a king and a prophet, a peasant girl and an angel.  After settling into his own royal house, the mighty King David wishes to build a house for the Lord, a temple.  The prophet Nathan initially affirms this move, but then has a dream in which he hears a message that David is not the one to build such a house.  Instead, the Lord will build David a house, a dynasty, and establish his kingdom forever.

As significant a conversation as this is, it is overshadowed by Gabriel’s visit to Mary, inviting her to be the one to give birth to one who will inherit the throne of his ancestor David.  If you’ve hung around the church for any length of time, this is a story you’ve heard before, and it seems there are two different ways we can encounter it.

The best analogy I can think of here is inspired by the fact that our family has been immersed in the Harry Potter series for the latter half of 2014.  One of the enchanted objects in this series is a...

Pages