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O Come, Emmanuel

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A four minute video—with the haunting medieval melody, O Come O Come Emmanuel, in the background— in celebration of the beginning of the Christian season of Advent. H/T Godspace and Sanctifying Worship.

May your patience find its reward!


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Funnier than it seems (sermon for May 4, 2008)

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Seventh Sunday of Easter; May 4, 2008

Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10,32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 1 Peter 5:6-11; John 17:1-11

Holy Is the Lord
There is a Louder Shout to Come
He Who Began a Good Work in You
Knowing You
Emmanuel
In His Time

Acts 1:6-14
6When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”

7-8He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”

9-11These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared-in white robes! They said, “You Galileans!-why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly-and mysteriously-as he left.”

Returning to Jerusalem

12-13So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. They went to the upper room they had been using as a meeting place:

Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas, son of James. 14They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

This is funnier than it seems.

Jesus has been with them for 3 1/2 years. He’s taught them every day. He’s lived the perfect example of what God is like, and right in front of them. What lessons they’ve had! What amazing moments they’ve seen! Read the rest of this entry »

Shoot from stumps (sermon for Advent 2 A)

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Second Sunday of Advent: December 9, 2007
Matthew 3:1-12; Romans 15:4-13; Isaiah 11:1-10 Psalm 72:1-7,18-19

Silver mapleWe sang: Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus; I Waited; Open the Eyes of My Heart; O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; Open Our Eyes, Lord

Welcome

The sermon: I want to show you something about God that is built into creation. Towering over my house is a massive old silver maple.

In fact, it used to be literally “over” the house, till the tornado of ’98maple over garage took down a great branch. Leroy trimmed it up, now it looks like this (right) – you can see where the branch used to be.

If you look closer (below left), you’ll see something remarkable:

maple stub

Where it used to be a thick, strong, single stub, it’s now covered with new growth. In fact, the more you look at this tree, the more you see this has happened all over it.

We like big, strong trees, and Leroy tells me this isn’t a particularly good thing if you want trees like that. But regenerative growth like this is so built-in to the universe, that for centuries entire industriescoppice tree came from it. Read the rest of this entry »

“Why don’t more Muslims speak out?” Here’s a better question.

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Brian McLarenBrian McLaren, at God’s Politics, quoted CNN contributor Roland Martin:

I’m looking for the day when Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Joyce Meyer, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, James Kennedy, Rod Parsley, ‘Patriot Pastors’ and Rick Warren will sit at the same table as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Cynthia Hale, Eddie L. Long, James Meek, Fred Price, Emmanuel Cleaver and Floyd Flake to establish a call to arms on racism, AIDS, police brutality, a national health care policy, our sorry education system.

I would have included our historically exploitative foreign policy and unbridled militarism. But you get the point.

McLaren goes on:

We’ve probably heard many people here in the U.S. ask, “Why aren’t there more moderate Muslims speaking out against the violent extremists and calling for reform in Islam?” As I reflected on Roland Martin’s editorial on Good Friday, 2007, I couldn’t help but think, “Maybe around the world, ‘behind our back,’ so to speak, people are asking a similar question about Christians in the U.S.”

Oooh, yeah. Come and get me! That’s a question Jesus might ask.

Planks and specks, you know?


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Written by Monte

April 14, 2007 at 5:23 pm