The end of the first chapter of John’s Gospel recounts how Jesus gathered his first disciples near the place where John the Baptizer was working. How did he connect with them? What did they think of him? Why did they go with him? We invite you to come with us during the coming year as we follow Jesus through the Gospels.
It’s more than 2000 years since Christ was born, but the Church still sings the song of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.” We sing it despite our troubles. We sing it because the angel’s message is still good news to troubled people and we sing it with an important difference, an addition that they could not rightfully sing.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ began with the Word of the Prophets, the water of Baptism, and the coming of Christ, who would bestow the Holy Spirit on God’s people.
John prepared his people to receive Christ and the Spirit he would give using the prophetic Word and the water of Baptism.
That such God has given and still gives such gifts is great and good news you’ll want to hear.
Isaiah, the prophet, cried out to God, “O that you would rend the heavens and come down!” But if God comes in his glory, Isaiah wonders, can we be saved? For in his words, “we have been long in our sins.”
This short sermon explains how God came and still comes to his people to save them.
Jesus told a story about a rich man who gave his servants large sums of money and went away.
Two of them trusted their master and desired to please him. They worked hard and wisely and eventually doubled the money they had been given.
The other servant despised and feared the master. He buried his treasure in a safe place and gave it back when the master returned.
How the master responded to each of his servants is intended to give us a preview of how Jesus will judge our efforts. For some of his listeners it was a warning. For others it was a word of encouragement and hope.
This sermon focuses on encouragement.
Jesus denounced the scribes and pharisees for not practicing what they preached. Pastors and their listeners are frequently guilty of the same sin. God has a solution for those humble enough to receive it.
Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Do you believe that? Then you know what to do!