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How Unexpected Can Christmas Be?

Sermon
And Then Came the Angel
Gospel Sermons For Advent/Christmas/Epiphany
The temptation is to dismiss these words from Matthew. After all, how do they pertain to us? Written at a time when the early church had bet its life on Jesus' return, these seem odd words to hear on the first Sunday of Advent. We are busy preparing the cr che for a baby, but Matthew appears to be announcing Jesus' second coming. And it isn't just an odd lesson, but a frightening one. In a season when we seek assurance, Matthew's words are enough to scare us half to death. These words compare the coming of God's promised one to the death and devastation of the flood during Noah's time.
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Quantisha Mason-Doll
Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Dean Feldmeyer
George Reed
For December 4, 2022:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Wayne Brouwer
There is a powerful scene in Herman Melville’s great epic, Moby Dick, where Captain Ahab stands peg-legged on the deck of the Pequod during a violent storm (chapter 119). His obsession with the White Whale has carried the craft and crew to exotic and frightening locales, and now it seems as if divine providence might be unleashing furious anger against this ill-fated quest.
Bill Thomas
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Mark Ellingsen
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Isaiah 11:1-10
There is something about the past that, I think, attracts us. It seems that deep in human heart is a desire to recreate some pleasant time gone by long ago. Though it rarely works out quite like we envision it, there is a hope that the thrill can be recaptured, and the excitement felt all over again.

StoryShare

Frank Ramirez
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (v. 7)

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: You need just a few pieces of clothing to dress six children. A fancy scarf and fancy hat for a “star”, a suit jacket and phone for a successful businessperson, a crown or tiara for a king or queen, a huge book for a super intelligent person, a sword and shield for a fighting person, and an old piece of burlap and rope belt for a powerless, “nobody special” person.

If you can dress each child as you introduce them, or if time is short, you could select and dress them before the message, and have each child stand as you introduce them.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:
John the Baptist called people to repent, for he told them that the kingdom of heaven had come near. In our worship today let us explore what it means to be close to the kingdom of heaven.

Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, remind me to turn towards you.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, make me aware of your kingdom.
Christ, have mercy.
Jesus, nudge me into the kingdom of heaven.
Lord, have mercy.

Reading:
Matthew 3:1-12 (NRSV)

SermonStudio

Schuyler Rhodes
A wise teacher once pointed out that much of scripture is said in dialogue. It is a confusing point, at first. Certainly narrative and conversations between biblical figures are communicated throughout our Bible, but scripture itself as dialogue? How so? Well, think of it this way.
Michael D. Wuchter
"On that day," promised wild Isaiah, "on that day when things are finally set right, the wolf shall live with the lamb, the calf and the lion together, the cow and the bear will graze together, the time of violence will be over, God's harmony will prevail. On that day there will be peace -- when the true 'anointed one' rules -- when the genuine Messiah comes; it will be 'God with us' -- Immanuel -- peace, at last."
-- Isaiah 11:1-10 cf
Linda Schiphorst Mccoy
Have you ever been on a plane and heard the captain tell the cabin crew to "prepare for arrival"? That announcement lets everyone know that the plane is approaching the gate, and the doors are about to open. When the passengers hear it, they immediately start to gather their belongings, put on coats, and prepare to de-plane.
Dallas A. Brauninger
E-mail
From: KDM
To: God
Subject: Embracing Hope
Message: I would not mind a little encouragement, God. Lauds, KDM

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