Saturday, November 30, 2019

Advent Apologetics

This time of year, an ideological battle rages in Christian theological circles, a battle for which there is no end in sight.

When do we start celebrating Christmas?

Now, I don't believe this is as simple a question as it might seem to some. I've heard people argue that the world is dark and depressing enough, and we need as much light as possible in the world, so "Christmas Creep" really isn't the horrifying sin that it's been made out to be.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sermon: "The Peculiar King", Luke 19:29-44/Luke 23:33-43 (November 24, 2019)


Okay, before I begin, I want to make sure we’re all on the same page on one thing: hopefully, we can all agree that the English language is REALLY weird. For example, the meaning of a sentence can change dramatically depending on which word you emphasize. This has nothing to do with the language itself (grammatically speaking) and everything to do with inflection. Take, for example, the sentence, “I never said she stole my money.” If you emphasize the first word, “I”, it implies that someone else made the accusation: “*I* never said she stole my money.” If you emphasize the second word, it’s a forceful denial of the premise: “I NEVER said she stole my money.” If you emphasize the third word, it indicates that the speaker may be implying something unspoken: “I never SAID she stole my money.” You can go through and try it with the rest of the words on your own if you want. It’s a fun game.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sermon: "A Strange Sort of Hope", Isaiah 65:17-25/Luke 21:5-19 (November 17, 2019)


We’re coming up on a new year in just about a week. No, I didn’t misplace my calendar or accidentally recycle an old sermon at the wrong time. Our liturgical year is coming to an end next week with Christ the King Sunday. And just as with our secular celebration of the new year, it’s a good opportunity for us to look towards the future and imagine what it has in store for us. In the Church, this means engaging in a bit of friendly eschatology—or, in laymen’s terms, thinking about Christ’s return, when the present world will come to an end.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sermon: "The Art of Waiting", Haggai 2:1-9/2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 (November 10, 2019)


I’ve never been particularly fond of winter. Over the course of my life, my favorite season has shifted back and forth from fall to spring, and even summer’s gotten some appreciation in recent years. But never winter. I don’t like being cold; I don’t like the way dry skin feels 24 hours a day; I don’t like the early sunsets and short days. I’ve always disliked winter so much that even though my due date was in early January, I hunkered down and refused to be born until they took me out by force a month later. Very little has changed in my current opinion of the season.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sermon: "Holy Imperfection", Luke 19:1-10/Philippians 3:12-16 (November 3, 2019)


As I'm sure all of you with doorbells at your house are well aware, last Thursday was Halloween. That doesn't mean a lot with regards to the Church, but what it does mean is that Friday was All Saints' Day. Since most Protestants don't do much with mid-week celebrations, today is the day that Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and many other denominations all over the world observe this liturgical event. Traditionally, it's the day when we remember people of faith who have died, particularly in the past year, and celebrate the fact that we're still connected to them through Jesus Christ as eternal members of God's Kingdom.