Sermons

December 2016

Why We Sing At Christmas - December 25, 2016

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: Isaiah 52:7-10

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This picture hangs at the city market café on Watertown Plank Road, near where our Wednesday morning men’s bible study meets.  There’s no caption on the picture, so I’m not entirely sure when it was taken, but based on the Eiffel Tower in the background and the clothing the children are wearing, I’m pretty confident that this is probably from the World War II era, maybe from the liberation of Paris or from VE – Victory Europe – day when the Germans surrendered.  Whatever the case might be, the reason this picture sticks in my mind is that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen another photograph that captured spontaneous joy as well as it’s captured in these children.  They’re shouting, running, jumping; at this point in their lives, they can’t imagine anything happier than the news that the army occupying their home has been driven out. 



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The Sign Above All Signs - December 18, 2016

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: Isaiah 7:10-14

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Dear Friends in Christ, The first one came in the Garden of Eden immediately after Adam and Eve made their fateful choice and brought sin into the world.  The sequence behind it underscores the loving nature of our God.  Before informing them of the consequences for their disobedience, God told Adam and Eve he would provide a solution to the cosmic problem they had just set in motion.  The Seed of a Woman would come to reverse the curse of sin and undo what they just did. 



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Things Are Not as They Appear - December 11, 2016

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: Isaiah 35:1-10

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Sometimes, there’s nothing to look forward to.  Kind of a strange thought to have leading up to Christmas where there are all kinds of things to look forward to, but that’s the mindset that ties all three of today’s readings together.  There’s nothing to look forward to.  In the second lesson, James counsels his readers to be patient under persecution.  They didn’t have much reason to think their situation would change.  In the gospel, you saw John the Baptism in prison.  He knew that it was highly likely that this imprisonment would end with his death at the hands of Herod.  Had his years of calling people to repentance meant anything, or would John’s name just be added to the list of prophets killed in Jerusalem? 



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John, The Advent Man - December 7, 2016

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: Matthew 3:1-12

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Dear Friends in Christ, He was the son of a Jewish priest named Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, who was a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Like that of the Christ Child, his birth was also of a miraculous nature.  Maybe you remember the story.



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The Advent Message In Terms of Trees - December 4, 2016

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon text: Isaiah 11:1-10 (Matthew 3)

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Throughout the year, trees serve as signposts for the seasons.  Not too long ago the leaves turned colors and blanketed the ground; and now that it is colder outside, many of us already look forward to the trees budding, and blossoming, and looking alive again in spring.  But I think we’d all agree that even as the trees outside mark a season of cold temperatures and coming snow, we’re glad for the trees inside that mark a season we don’t want to miss.  In our homes and in our church, and many other places we go, Christmas trees have been popping up, reminding us to make preparations for what is now only three weeks away: another celebration of our Savior’s birth. 



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