Archive for December, 2012

The ancient hymn we just sang is a prayer and a promise.

Each verse is a prayer – “Oh Come!” It reflects the prayer of God’s people throughout history that God would come to them and save them.

And each refrain delivers the same promise:  Emmanuel SHALL come to you.  A promise made over and over through the prophets and finally realized in the coming of Christ. (more…)

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In some ways it’s an unfortunate coincidence of the calendar that Christmas Eve falls on a Monday.  It’s makes the fourth week of Advent only one day!  A lot of people will probably decide not to attend worship today because they’ll be going to services tomorrow night or the next day.  And let’s face it, it is a lot of church for three days in a row!

I’m afraid this morning is somewhat overshadowed by the events of tomorrow and the next day.  But we are here and we are here to experience, perhaps, once last opportunity to get Advent right before we celebrate Christmas – one more opportunity for repentance, for turning back to Christ. (more…)

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My dad was a builder.  That wasn’t his vocation, but it was a serious hobby.  He constructed furniture, built a cabin in our garage piece by piece, created beautiful pieces of church art, and did small craft projects with my mom.  I grew up with circle saws, scroll saws, lathes, and planers and wood chips and sawdust. And I spent a lot of childhood days standing by my dad’s side as he fashioned one thing after another out of wood.

I remember helping him pick out wood at the lumber yard in White Bear.  I would help him pull down piece after piece and then he’d eyeball down the length of it to make sure it was straight without any bend or curvature.  He taught me how to do this too.  If it was warped it would through the whole project off.  (more…)

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Signs of Christmas are all around us.  And there is no subtlety about these signs.  Christmas music on the radio 24/7 —  Christmas lights and displays everywhere you turn — retailers constantly reminding us how many shopping days are left.  You can’t miss it.  Even a visitor from some distant planet would be able to read the signs right now that some big event is coming.  Christmas has a way of hitting us over the head.  Literally, I was at Target the other night and one of those big Christmas signs almost hit me on the head.  And for those of you who think that the real celebration is getting lost in the political correctness of the “holiday” season this particular sign did read, “Merry Christmas.”  Yes, right there at Target.  A sign of Christmas . . . (more…)

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