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New & Featured This Week

CSSPlus

John Jamison
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (vv. 1-2)

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Quantisha Mason-Doll
Thomas Willadsen
Mary Austin
George Reed
Dean Feldmeyer
Advent Roadwork
by Chris Keating
Luke 3:1-6

He may not be the snazziest dresser, but John the Baptist sure knows how to make an entrance. He was never one to blend into the crowd. Despite his mother’s pleading and his father’s religious pedigree, John wasn’t much of a city kid. He preferred the wilderness to the streets, eschewing citadels of privilege for empty wastelands, preferring itchy camel’s hair to worsted wool suits. With his scraggly beard streaked with remnants of locust, John draws attention wherever he goes.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
We knew it all along, but it takes good messengers if we are to hear it again.

Baruch 5:1-9
Mark Ellingsen
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Baruch 5:1-9
Referring to this lesson, the ancient theologian Irenaeus wrote:

... the prophet has pointed out, that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left upon earth, should both be under the rule of the saints to minister to this Jerusalem.  (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol.1, p.565)

The text is about the fresh start God affords us in Christ.  The coming son is like a bridge to this new reality.  About Christ’s role in this way, the medieval mystic Catherine of Siena once wrote:

StoryShare

Frank Ramirez
John E. Sumwalt
Contents
“The Real Messanger” by Frank Ramirez
“The Unforgiving Manure Spreader” by John Sumwalt


The Real Messanger
by Frank Ramirez
Malachi 3:1-4

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me…. (Malachi 3:1)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Roly lay down with his head on his paws and felt lonely. But he wasn't lonely for long, for lots of people came to the entrance to the maze and petted him and patted him and stroked him and spoke to him. Roly perked up, and wondered for the hundredth time what went on in a maze. Still, the family had told him very firmly to stay at the entrance in case he got lost in the maze, or worse, because he was so small, tripped people up by darting between their legs.

SermonStudio

Alex A. Gondola, Jr.
Have you ever noticed that many people seem to feel they either have "too much" Christmas or "not enough" Christmas? Television commentator Andy Rooney is one who thinks he has had "too much" Christmas. Andy Rooney, in fact, has proposed a "Christmas Holidays Limitations Act." These are some of the provisions of that Act:

1. Capital punishment would be mandatory for anyone caught selling Christmas ornaments before Thanksgiving.
Cynthia E. Cowen
Every Sunday, a church broadcasts a one-hour service over the waves of 1450 WMIQ, the local radio station. It begins with this announcement, "From the shores of beautiful Crystal Lake, we bring you Our Saviour's morning service."

One Advent season, the pastor had selected an "in the sandals" sermon series. The first biblical character to be heard from was John the Baptist. As John entered clothed in the prophet's clothing, a reader announced: "Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight" (Luke 3:4b).
J. Will Ormond
The setting and shape of this sermon are obvious. It was preached at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the founding of that congregation.

The church was officially organized on January 30, 1949. I was the first pastor. I remained pastor until May, 1964.
Robert S. Jarboe
Second Sunday In Advent

For Luke 1:68-79

(Distribute this sheet to the readers.)


Date:
Reader A:
Reader B:

Introit
(As the introit is being sung, Readers A and B come forward and stand by the Advent wreath until the music is finished.)

Litany
Reader A:
Please turn to the Advent litany in your bulletins.
(Pause as they do so.)
If we keep our minds steadfast and trust in God,
we will be kept in perfect peace.

Special Occasion