First Sunday in Christmas
Sermon / December 30, 2018

John 1:1-18 The Word made Flesh This is the first Sunday in Christmastide, that wonderful 12 day feast that is over for most of your friends. Why 12 days? I think it is because while many holy days are celebrated for an octave, or 8 days, Christmas is celebrated for an Octave and a half. That gives it a little more celebration than the rest. Christmas is over for most of the world. For many it is the culmination of the frantic shopping, the party going, the house decorating, along with a well lit tree, and the opening of gifts. The Christmas music has disappeared from the stores and the radio, and people are beginning to take down the trees and the lights. Christmas has been secularized by the media for a long time. The department store Santa Claus has taken the place of St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, for whom he was patterned. Christmas has not always been so popular. In fact it was banned by the Puritans in the 17th Century as being too Romish for one thing, and too raucous for another. It seemed the celebration of Christmas had become like one very long office party….

Christmas Eve
Sermon / December 24, 2018

Glory to God in the Highest, and Peace to his people on earth. We sing this hymn every Sunday. It might seem redundant to some. Why do we sing it so often? Could God get tired of hearing this hymn so much? Could a father get tired of hearing the words of his daughter, saying I love you? Could a mother get tired of hearing her grandson saying, Mimi, I love you? Of course not! And I do not think our Father in heaven ever gets tired of hearing our words of praise to him. “…we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.” And he is our heavenly Father. He is not some capricious god who sites back and watches his people suffer. He is a Father who wants to be a part of his children’s lives. We know this because he came to us in human form with all his divinity. No other god has claimed that he came to earth. In fact other religions consider this as blasphemy. Jesus did in fact come to us in the fullness of his divinity and the fullness of his humanity. We have heard the story of…

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sermon / December 23, 2018

Luke 1:39-56 “In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” An ancient tradition designates a small village about four miles west of Jerusalem, as the home of Zachariah. In the midst of it, on a kind of platform, stands the Franciscan convent of St. John in the Desert. The church is large and stately, and includes the site of the house of Zachariah, where St. John Baptist was born.  In a kind of grotto is an altar ornamented with marble, bas-relief work, and paintings. In the center of the pavement is a slab, with the inscription, “Hie Praecursor Domini natus est.” (Latin: Here the forerunner of the Lord was born.) Today the Church of St. John the Baptist is a Greek Orthodox church with a monastery next door, and a popular destination for tourists. The scene presented to us in the Gospel we heard today is the visitation of Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, to her cousin Elizabeth. This story only occurs in the Gospel according to St. Luke, and not in the other Gospels.  In the preceding verses,…