'Christmas' Tagged Posts

'Christmas' Tagged Posts

Christmas Season 2020

Please listen to this message from Pastor Steven Olson on the upcoming Christmas season. Join us in person (socially distant) or via Live stream this Christmas season! Follow us on Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and on our website for updates and events. Dear Friends, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests! (Lk 2:16)” It happens sometimes with words and songs that we know so well. We forget what the words mean!…

LIFE IN THE LIGHT OF MORNING

“It was the best of times and it was the worst of times,” is the way Charles Dickens began his novel, Tale Of Two Cities.   Paul would have said the same about his times.  In our epistle lesson from Romans 13, he says:  “The night is almost over, and the day is drawing near.” The times are dark with judgment…like the night. The times are bright with promise…like the day. We would have to say the same about our own…

SWEET SORROW

Shakespeare’s Juliet says to Romeo:  “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”    English teachers might call that an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.   But life is full of seeming contradictions which are not so contradictory.  We talk about “bitter sweet moments,” or a “deafening silence,” or “an open secret,” or a “tragic comedy.” There is a sweet sorrow laced in the lines of today’s epistle lesson from 2 Corinthians.  Paul says:  “Godly sorrow produces repentance, which leads to salvation, leaving no…

A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE WISE MEN

Isaiah foretold it.  “Nations will walk to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isaiah 60:1-3  EHV).  The first example of this, as we edge toward the Epiphany season, is found not in the Gospel of Luke from which our Christmas themes are taken this year.  Rather, it is in the Gospel of Matthew that we learn about the Wise Men. The Wise Men arrive in Jerusalem asking:  “Where is He who has been born King of…

A NEW SERMON SERIES – THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN

Today we begin a new sermon series – The Gospel According To St. John. During the week of Christmas & New Years, we will break from our series to consider the Christmas accounts from The Gospel According To St. Luke, and then we will return to John’s Gospel. God the Holy Spirit has chosen to record the life of our Savior in four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Each of these accounts pursues a different angle.  Even the…

THE ANTI-CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN – HERE WE GO AGAIN

Christmas is upon us and here we go again – the anti-Christmas campaign. This year, a principal in Nebraska recently stirred the pot by outlawing candy canes in school because “historically, the shape is a ‘J’ for Jesus.” This month, Newsweek carries the story of Eric Sprankle, Psy.D, an associate professor at the Minnesota State University.  Spankle writes: “The virgin birth story is about an all-knowing, all-powerful deity impregnating a human teen. There is no definition of consent that would include that…

GRACE NOTES

As we near the end of the church year, our thoughts turn to the end of all things.  We instinctively picture ourselves and others before the great throne on that last day.  Who will enter that eternal kingdom and who will not? Our own times are awash in what we might call universalism, the sentimental idea that merely dying entitles a person to enter heaven, that ultimately everybody goes to heaven and nobody goes to hell – in fact, that…

THE ROAD TO SPIRITUAL RENEWAL

It was Jesus who told us that the love of most would grow cold.  It was Jesus who told the church at Ephesus that they had lost their first love.  It was Jesus who told the church at Laodicea that they were neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, and so He would spit them out of His mouth.   The virus appears in every age.  Ours too. We grieve over the symptoms when we see them – in ourselves –…

READY OR NOT?

There are two kinds of people in this world – those who are ready, and those who are not.   For some folks, being ready is an obsession.  Some have their Christmas shopping done in July, their Christmas cookies in the freezer by Thanksgiving, their supper menu planned out two weeks in advance.  On the other end of the scale are those who do their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, pick up some cookies from the bakery on the way…

GET READY FOR THE KING!

There are two kinds of people in this world – those who are ready, and those who are not.  For some folks, being ready is an obsession.  Some have their Christmas shopping done in July, their Christmas cookies in the freezer by Thanksgiving, their supper menu planned out two weeks in advance.  On the other end of the scale are those who do their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, pick up some cookies from the bakery on the way home…

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HELL?

On July 16th 1741 Jonathan Edwards preached what some have called the most famous sermon in American history:  Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God.  Moans and cries rose from his New England congregation as he graphically depicted the horrors of eternal damnation. By way of contrast in our century, the late “possibility thinking” preacher, Robert Schuller, once bragged that he hadn’t preached on hell in 40 years. The usual polls indicate that the majority of Americans believe in…

THE ANTI-CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN

A few years ago, billboards appeared across the United States in places like Milwaukee, Nashville, Memphis, St. Louis, and in Arkansas and Texas. The billboards showed a child wearing a Santa hat with pen in hand, writing a letter to Santa that reads, “Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is to skip church. I’m too old for fairy tales.” The group American Atheists supposedly was aiming the billboards at in-the-closet atheists who feel pressured to observe religious traditions during…
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