Sermons & Media Outlet

First Sunday of Christmas – “Making It Safe”

“May God be good to us, bless our children, instill wisdom in parents, reside in our homes, watch over us all in the coming year. We thank him for having done the same for us in 2018. The Lord be with us, bless this assembly, watch over all the children, give children loving families and homes, make of this congregation an extended family and neighborhood. And as we watch our children grow up so quickly, may their stature and wisdom keep pace with their growing bodies. May we all be found in human and divine favor.”

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New Year’s Beginnings and Endings

“As God keeps encouraging and urging us, constantly letting us know how much he loves us every second we live and breathe, he will use us with renewed energy to make a difference in the time and days to come. For when we give God our seconds and hours, he already promises us eternity where time is no longer a factor or matter, only the eternal moment to live in his glory. May God be patient with us this coming year, and may he lead us to use the time we have for his good will and pleasure. As he was with us at this point one year ago, so he promises the same for every second of 2019. The Lord will be with you!”

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Christmas Day – “Treasuring and Pondering”

“It is truly a wonderful day! It is a day filled with surprises, families, loved ones, and delicious food and drink. It is a day that is over in no time at all, but a day that fills our hearts and souls every day to come. May we all treasure the good of this day, and may we ponder how we can share this treasure of the manger throughout each and every day to come. That is what people of God do. That is the mission of the Church. May you be blessed. May you have joy. May the birth of Christ make you merry. The Lord is with you!”

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Christmas Eve – “Empty Spaces”

“Jesus Christ was born for you. In that gift we are promised we are filled with the love of God every day of the year – a love that completes us and a love fulfilled when we live that love every day of the year. Merry Christmas! You are blessed. Be then a blessing for all the little children of the world, and all those who are empty. Fill them with God’s love born for us in Christ Jesus living in us. Give them good news of great joy!”

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Can’s Even Prophets Have Their Doubts?

Pastor Mark’s message last weekend was based on Luke where John the Baptist sends his disciples to Jesus with a question: He asks, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” It seems like an impossible question for John to have. And so, we are left trying to understand it. One really solid theory is that John is taking this as a teaching moment. He wants his disciples to hear directly from Jesus who He is. John has already proclaimed it. He has taught it, but now he wants them to go to the source.

What Jesus is giving to John’s disciples is really what Jesus is giving to John – a peace and joy that he can grab ahold of. An assurance of the love of God that can’t be taken away, even as John faces his unstorybook ending.

Even in the middle of your unbelief, believe this: That same peace and joy is yours. From a baby in a manger to a suffering servant hosted upon a cross, Jesus gives us all that we need to fight through those moments of unbelief. He is the unchanging, unbreakable love of God. May Jesus always be for you a peace that passes all understanding. Amen!”

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God Is Still Working In Me

“John the Baptist is doing some difficult work down by the river in the Gospel lesson this weekend. For many he baptizes and he tells them “If you have two tunics give one away, if you have more food than you need…share it with someone else, do your work honestly and be content with what you have.” And make way for the goodness of God to work within you. Advent takes us to the manger reminding us that God came into the world to be born in the middle of creation. Today God remains in the middle of His creation as His Holy Spirit works within us. This good work that began in our baptisms is carried out until Christ comes again. Be patient with me. God’s not finished with me yet!”

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Hurry Up and Wait!

While the secular calendar won’t switch to 2019 for another month, the Church Year begins anew today. Advent is a season of waiting and preparation. One Advent tradition is to mark the four Sundays in Advent with four words that encompass what Jesus brings as He comes into the world to be our Immanuel – God with us. These four words are hope, peace, joy, and love. Today we focus on hope. There is a lot of suffering in the world, but hope exists in Christ’s incarnation, death, resurrection, and return.

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Kingdom Builders

Pastor Kay’s message over the weekend was based on John 18:33-37 where Pilate asks Jesus if he is the King of the Jews. As we celebrate Christ the King Sunday, “We give our praise to our God who makes us a kingdom, priests, princes, princesses, royal people and nations, clothed in his eternal mercy and righteousness, to serve in the kingdoms of this world that his rule would reign now and forever. Let there be no doubt who and what influences us, and may we together be the kingdom where each of us and those not yet here will be welcomed and received the same. The Lord be with you!”

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Thanksgiving Day – We Gather Together

“This is really a national holiday determined by leaders of our country, Abraham Lincoln, I believe. It is a day designated to give thanks, although there may be more and more signs pointing to a time of celebrating, and the kickoff for the Christmas madness. We dare not forget, though, that we are grateful people every day, and that our celebrating reveals our receiving of the gifts from heaven that enrich this life now. Those gifts are the wonderful and delightful foods and drinks we enjoy. The gifts are certainly the people who surround us and gather with us. And the gift most assuredly is our God who came into this world to join with us in enjoying life here and promising it will be even greater one day. O give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His mercy endures forever!”

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Persevere!

As the Church Year is approaching its close, we turn our focus to the last things. Pastor Kay tells us, “If there are signs of the end with us, then what a picture can be painted of Christ’s Church embracing the people of the world in His arms of mercy. As God promises, Paradise will be ours one day! And for the people of Paradise, CA now, let’s pray they persevere with faith, and never lose hope. May the gifts of others help reinforce that faith and hope. May our love for Christ be the strength of faith and hope for others, as well as for each of us. There is no fear in love. We shall not fear the end of time. We will persevere with hope.”

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