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Sermons on Advent

December 19, 2021 Fourth Sunday in Advent “We Tried It Your Way”

FIRST READING             Micah 5:2-5a The prophet Micah, having pronounced judgment upon Judah, speaks of a future shepherd-king who, like David, will come from the small town of Bethlehem. (Ephrathah refers to the area around Bethlehem.) This king will restore Israel and bring peace. New Testament writers understood this passage to be referring to Jesus. 2But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,…

November 28, 2021 First Sunday in Advent “Holy Longing”

FIRST READING          Jeremiah 33:14-16 In the Old Testament, “righteousness” often has to do with being faithful in relationship. God acts righteously both in punishing Israel for its sin and in having mercy. In today’s reading, Jerusalem’s future name – “The LORD is our righteousness” – proclaims that God is even now working salvation for Israel. 14 The days are surely coming,…

December 20, 2020 Fourth Sunday of Advent “God’s New Home”

FIRST READING           2nd Samuel 7:1-11, 16 Instead of David building a house (temple) for God, God promises to establish David’s house (dynasty) forever. Centuries later, after the Babylonian exile, no king sat on the throne. Even then, however, the people of Israel remembered this promise and continued to hope for a king, the messiah, God’s anointed. 1Now when the king…

December 13, 2020 Third Sunday of Advent “What Are You Waiting For”

FIRST READING        Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 Though the people had returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, they continued to face hardship and oppression. In the language of the jubilee year described in Leviticus 25, the prophet, moved by the spirit of God, announces deliverance for those who are oppressed and comfort for those who mourn. 1The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,…

December 22, 2019 Fourth Sunday of Advent “Faithful in the Mess”

FIRST READING            Isaiah 7:10-16 An Israelite and Aramean military coalition presented a serious threat to King Ahaz of Judah. In response, Ahaz decided to secure his throne and kingdom by seeking Assyrian help. Isaiah reminds Ahaz that human attempts to establish security will fail. The prophet gives the sign that is the only source of true safety: Immanuel,…