Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas Sermons

4:30 PM - Christmas Eve

The stars that shine at Christmas
Shine on throughout the year,
Jesus, born so long ago,
Still gathers with us here,
We listen to his stories,
We learn to say his prayer,
We follow in his footsteps,
And we learn to love and share. Amen.
(Lois Rock & Alison Jay)

Tonight we think about who? Jesus. It is his stories we tell.
But I know you all are thinking about someone tomorrow… Santa & Presents!

I wonder what Santa’s story would be…

Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki & Ivan Gantschev

What we give is important, how we learn to love and share speaks to how that Christ child has entered into our hearts and how we honor the gift of Christmas to us. As one of our beloved carols puts it:
How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him,
still the dear Christ enters in.
Follow that star. Celebrate the birth. Remember that Love was the gift of the first Christmas. Amen.

7:30 PM

On this most Holy Night, as we have listened to the words of Scripture telling us of salvation, as we have sung the carols and listened to the anthems that make our hearts glad, I am reminded that we need to go beyond mere enjoyment but make embrace what Christmas is all about. In the words of Martin Luther:
See to it that you do not find pleasure in the Gospel only as a history, for that is only transient; neither regard it only as an example, for it is of no value without faith; but see to it that you make this birth your own and that Christ be born in you. This will be the case if you believe, then you will repose in the lap of the virgin Mary and be her dear child. But you must exercise this faith and pray while you live, you cannot establish it too firmly. This is our foundation and inheritance, upon which good works must be built.

If Christ has now thus become your own, and you have by such faith been cleansed through him and have received your inheritance without any personal merit, but alone through the love of God who gives to you as your own the treasure and work of his Son; it follows that you will do good works by doing to your neighbor as Christ has done to you.

Therefore it is through faith that Christ becomes our own, and his love is the cause that we are his. He loves, we believe, thus both are united into one. Again, our neighbor believes and expects our love, we are therefore to love him also in return and not let him long for it in vain. One is the same as the other; as Christ helps us so we in return help our neighbor, and all have enough.
On this most Holy Night and for all the days hereafter “make this birth your own that Christ may be born in you” so that this celebration is not just one night but one we continually live by what we do throughout the year so everyone may have enough. Amen.

10 AM (Christmas Day)

I talked about the painting "Adoration of the Shepherds"

You can find info: here and here.

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