Mary and You, Servants of God

The Gospel Lesson for the Fourth Sunday in Advent recounts the Blessed Virgin Mary’s journey to visit Elizabeth, her relative and the mother of John the Baptist. The actions and words of the two women have much to teach everyone about faith, worship, and service to God. For those facing an unexpected pregnancy the same lesson provides the “hows and whys” of a godly way forward.

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Advent
Text: Luke 1:39-56

Trust and Wait

Christians are often troubled when they see God help others, but not them. Why some are miraculously healed and others are not is difficult to understand.

Luke records a time when John the Baptist sent two disciples to ask, “Are you the one who is to come or shall we expect another.” They had heard what Jesus was doing, but what he wasn’t doing concerned them and they were struggling. Jesus answered gently and with great respect for John, referring to what the prophet Isaiah had foretold and saying in effect, “trust me.”

Come Down, O Lord!

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.

John’s Question

An audio recording of Pastor Hinkle’s sermon on Matthew 11:2-15 given December 11, 2016.

Someone had a problem with Jesus. It may have been John the Baptist or one of his disciples. Whoever it was, Jesus’ ministry was different from what he had expected. John was in jail. Herod and Philip still ruled, and God’s people had not yet been baptized with the Holy Spirit. So John sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who was to come?” His answer was written down because we sometimes have questions, too.

The Wolf, the Lamb, and the Lion

An audio recording of Pastor Hinkle’s sermon on Isaiah 11 given December 7, 2016.

Isaiah expands upon the reign of Immanuel, that is Christ. He describes Immanuel’s heritage and person and gives a memorable description of the peace that will mark his reign over a world where there is no more death.

John, Prophet and Fulfillment of Prophecy

An audio recording of Pastor Hinkle’s sermon on Matthew 3:1-12 given December 4, 2016.

Matthew points out that the prophet John the Baptist was himself the fulfillment of a prophecy of Isaiah recorded in the 40th chapter of the Book of Isaiah. Malachi also spoke of his coming. As a prophet, John called God’s people to prepare for the coming of their God by repentance and baptism. We should prepare in similar fashion to meet our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.