2nd Sunday after the Epiphany
What Do You Want from Jesus?
Text: John 2:1-11
It would be a neat party trick, wouldn’t it? You have a large gathering of friends and family at a Christmas party and you run out of drinks. “Jesus, help me! I only have milk!” Shazam! Eggnog on command!
You host a work-social at your house on Cinco De Mayo and you run dry again. “Jesus, help me! I only have a little lime juice!” Shazam! Margaritas in a flash!
You have a sophisticated soiree reading classic poetry and sipping classic wines. Suddenly your cup runneth empty. “Jesus, help me! I only have water!” Shazam! Your cup runneth over. Merlots and Pinots in the blink of an eye!
Hey! This is pretty handy, isn’t it? Let’s see, what else can we do here? “Jesus, help me! I haven’t done laundry in two weeks and I have a mountain in my bedroom.” Shazam! Everything is clean, folded and in the drawers. “Jesus, help me! I have bills to pay. All I have is this piggy bank left.” Shazam! Pennies become Benjamins as a few cents become thousands of dollars. “Oh, and while you are at it Jesus, I need to go shopping. I only have a little bread in the cupboard.” Shazam! Bread turns to dough (the kind you can spend) and a shopping spree follows. Read the rest of this entry
Text: Psalm 89
It’s a fairytale ending. The groom rides in with shining armor to take his beautiful bride off into the sunset. None of the trials and tribulations that came before matter anymore. All pain is forgotten in the love and beauty of the moment. You know how it ends… “They lived happily ever after. The End.”
So we, the bride of Christ will ride off into the sunset with our Anointed One. Things got rough in the middle when the plot was thickest. It seemed we stood no chance of a reunion with our Lord because our mistakes had sealed us off from him. As a true knight in shining armor he came to our rescue.
He faced the dragon for us; he took on the punishment we deserved. For a moment things looked bad when he was placed as a dead man in the grave but three days later her burst forth our Lord and King. He won us as his bride.
We haven’t begun the “happily ever after” life with him yet, but we have his promise that he will come back for us. We have the promise of God that his kingdom and throne will rule forever. He is the ruler of wind and wave.
It’s a fairytale ending. Jesus died for our sins. Jesus made us his bride. Jesus will rule forever and take us to be with him in heaven. You know how it ends… “We lived happily ever after.” Be patient and trust in your God, he is worthy of praise!
Prayer: Dear God our Father, you promised that you would provide a way for us to be healed from the curse of sin. In Jesus you provide the forgiveness we need. Give us faith that knows that our risen and ascended Lord is ruling over all things for our good. Give us trust that looks for the day when we will be with you in heaven. In Jesus the Anointed One we pray, Amen.
Text: Revelation 19:1-9
The tables are set. The food is prepared. The decor is magnificent. The occasion is splendid and joyous.
The groom is perfectly glorious. He’s been waiting. He’s been waiting for his bride for quite some time. But now, finally, the time has come!
So the bride is presented to her groom. She is beautiful. She is radiant. She, too, is glorious. And she . . . is you!
From the creation of the world Jesus has known that you would be his own. And from the creation of the world Jesus knew how he would make that happen. He would lay down his life as the sacrificial Lamb of God. He would shed his blood to wash away every stain and blemish and sin that you have. And through his life and death in your place he would dress you in his righteousness and purity.
(Note: Here in Revelation 19 it would be better to translate verse 9 like this: Fine linen stands for the righteous declaration of/for the saints. The point is that we are dressed in Christ’s righteousness and salvation, not our own!)
Thus all the preparations have been made. The great wedding feast of the Lamb is ready. And you have been invited! For you are Christ’s bride–washed, cleaned, and prepared through your faith in his work.
Oh how blessed you are! Indeed, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the heavenly bridegroom. In your gracious love, you laid down your life and shed your blood to wash me clean of sin. Now you have made me to be your bride for all eternity. Give me peace and joy each and every day as I await the feast which you have prepared for me in your heavenly kingdom. Amen.
Sermon on Isaiah 61:10-62:3
2nd Sunday after Christmas
Rejoice in Your Riches
1. Your Robe
2. Your Righteousness
3. Your Royalty
Text: Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Happy New Year! Wait! What’s happy about this new year? It’s January 2 and I have already broken two of my New Year’s resolutions! The cost per barrel of oil continues to rise, which means that the cost of gasoline will probably keep rising. My house still has not recovered any value, and probably won’t for a long while. Flagler County still has the highest unemployment rate in Florida. Jobs are few and far between around here.
And it might be a new year, but a lot of my life situations aren’t changing. I still have the house payment, the car payments, the insurance payments, and the medical bills. I still have to stick to my tight budget or I will be in big trouble. I still can’t afford some of the nice things I’ve been wanting to get.
Happy New Year? For whom? Not for me! The economy is still terrible. Life is still a struggle. I’m still not rich. There’s nothing happy about 2011.
Friends, witness the miracle and the mystery of the Word of God. 2,700 years after the prophet Isaiah lived, his message is still living and breathing with relevance that we cannot ignore. In God’s timeless wisdom and powerful foresight, he planned that the Old Testament lesson for this morning would be so very appropriate for our lives and for a new year. As we look more closely at the words of Isaiah this morning, we can only but Rejoice in Our Riches. Read the rest of this entry