Showing posts from December, 2010

The Gifts of Man

It’s official. The Christmas season is now over. One more week to go in 2010 and we will start a new year. So, now that Christmas is over, what now? The anticipation is over, Christ is born and now normal life resumes right? Well, sort of. Jesus is born, but the story just doesn’t end there. In the season of Advent, we have been looking at “The Five Gifts of God”. Now, it’s time we took a look at the gifts that man gave Jesus.

So, what is it that you bring for a gift to someone who has everything? God lacks nothing, so what can we give that would mean anything to him? I mean, he’s put himself into human form, but he still has everything, knows everything and is fully complete.

Have you ever tried to find a gift for a couple who was celebrating their 50th (or more) Wedding anniversary? It’s nearly impossible isn’t it? I mean, they’ve had a lifetime of memories, they’ve got more stuff than they can ever imagine…and yet, we have to find them something! I remember some years back my grand…

Gift 5: Christ; The Hinge on the Revolving Door

I started thinking about this sermon many months ago, and I’m not sure how to say anything about this Holiday. I am a new minister, what could I have to say about Christmas that someone hasn’t thought of or said already. I decided early on that I was going to title the Advent season “The Five Gifts From God”. The first four titles were rather generics, Gift 1, Gift 2 and so on. Well today’s sermon is titled Gift 5: Christ but there is another little zing to this title…the rest of the title is “Hinged on the Revolving Door”. Sound a bit odd for a Christmas sermon? I pray by the time I am done, God has shown the light upon why the title is what it is.

I love Easter. Easter is a time of springtime, blooming flowers, budding trees, new life and renewed hope. So why does culture put an emphasis on Christmas, but not Easter? Easter is when we celebrate the resurrected Christ; wouldn’t that be a more important holiday? Well, not necessarily, because they are equally important. We have to rem…

Gift 4: Love

Love is not a feeling. Hate is not the opposite of love…apathy is. Love is helping with the dishes. Love is doing something you hate in order to support the other. Love is a dozen roses. Love is a greeting when you see the other person walk in from work. Love is tending to things when the other is sick. Love is reaffirmation. Love is helping with a need though no favor is asked. Love is surrendering the thing you want the most for someone else.

1 Corinthians 13:4-13 is probably the most famous wedding Scripture in the Bible. I’m not sure if I have ever NOT heard it at a wedding. When asked this past summer to come up with another verse that spoke love as well for a wedding, after all my research, I couldn’t come up with one. It FITS. So, even though this isn’t the scripture I am preaching this morning, let us read it again, to refresh our memories what love really is. I want you to really hear the words Paul speaks here. I am going to read it a little slower than normal so that we can…

Gift 3: Joy

As we continue to go around the wheel of natural flow of the Five Gifts From God, this week we look to Joy. We’ve spent time looking into hope and peace, knowing that one flows right into the other. Having found true peace, we now look at joy and what that truly entails.

If I were to say the words ‘false front’ most people would know exactly what it is that I’m talking about. Having a false front is so much different than a Christian having joy despite circumstances. Given example:

A man from a large, wealthy family in upper New England, because of a business opportunity is ‘promised’ to marry a girl to benefit the families financially. (Whether or not we realize it, this actually happens fairly often.) They marry because it is what their parents want. They do not necessarily ‘love’ each other, rather it is a ‘you’d better marry that person or you’ll be cut off’ sort of deal.

So, they marry, each pursue their respective degrees and become very successful, wealthy socialites. They had t…

Gift 2: Peace

Peace. So many things can be said about that word. It sparked a controversy during a time of conflict in the Vietnam War. During the 80’s it was a two fingered symbol and saying. To a foreigner coming to our land, if you said the word peace to them, they might think you’re talking about a piece of something…pie or cake maybe. Can you imagine coming to America with all of the slang words we use? Geez, how confusing would that be?! “Peace!!! Piece, what? Of pie? Ha!!!

Back to reality now, ultimately, peace is something that is used throughout the Bible. The word peace is used 271 times in the OT and 96 in the NT for a grand total of 367 times. There are 365¼ days a year, so we’ll round it up to 366, so, for every occurrence of the word peace, there is a day…and one extra for the trying times. All I am trying to do, is drive home the point of how exceptionally important peace is for us.
According to New Man magazine, write, theologian and onetime Harvard professor Henri Nouwen once broke…