The Cornerstone

The following is the Great Thanksgiving preface that I wrote for the Holy Communion liturgy for today. I was inspired by the Gospel text from Luke 20:9-18; the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. A church not built on Jesus will surely fall…

It is indeed right and salutary
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you,
oh God,
holy, mighty and awesome.
You built the Church on the foundation of Jesus,
Your anointed and only Son.
Through faith in him our sins have been forgiven
and thus we have been clothed in righteousness
and are justified in Your sight.
Oh God,
what an awesome thing to be at peace with You
and in You
for all eternity.
And so we shout out Alleluias each and every day
as we recall your amazing grace.
And so we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…

Found

It is indeed right and salutary
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you,
oh God,
Father almighty.
You sent Jesus Christ to seek and save the lost.
He stopped at nothing to reach lost sinners.
He defied the authorities.
He defied the world.
He defied death.
We were lost, but now we are found.
We were without hope but now we celebrate.
We were without meaning, but now we are in Your family; defined by You. We were dead, but now we are alive.
Oh God,
You settled for nothing short of finding lost sinners.
And so we worship You;
joining with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…

Parable of the Lost Coffee Thermos

The following is dangerously close to being sacrilegious so please read with tongue in cheek (based on true events that actually happened to me recently)…

“Or what man, having a rockstar coffee thermos, if he loses it, does not search diligently his home and office, and even the Starbucks across the street until he finds it? And when he has found it, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coffee thermos that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents…and definitely over the found coffee thermos.”
[Luke 15:8-10…or something close to it]

The lost has been found!

Sounding the Alarm

The following is something I wrote as part of the Great Thanksgiving for our Holy Communion liturgy. Themes from the Luke 13:1-9 and Ezekiel 33:7-20 can be found here.

REPENT, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, King of the universe. You sent Jesus to die and rise for our sins and thus You have promised us eternal life through faith in him. May we speak boldly; sounding the alarm; the Good News, that Your Kingdom is at hand. You have called us to repent; to turn from our sinful ways, that Your holy name would be glorified. Oh God, Creator and Redeemer, You are worthy of all praise and worship. May we not hide behind our righteousness, but live in and through that righteousness that others would run to You. And so, because You are awesome and glorious, we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in signing Your unending praise…

Mother Hen ~ A Sermon Teaser

The following is the opening paragraph for the sermon that God has placed on my heart…

The love of Jesus for sinners is communicated and shown in a number of ways throughout scripture. His commitment to the mission is put on display throughout scripture. (i.e. Jesus’ rebuke of Peter, his face set like flint). And his power has been made known over and over again. From the beginning, God’s plan has been in effect; a plan to redeem His fallen creation. (“He will crush your head, but you will bruise his heal”). God proclaimed the New Covenant through the prophet Jeremiah. God promised to raise up His chosen one; the Messiah – and He followed through. Scripture is replete with God’s promises. God has proven Himself faithful thus there is no reason to doubt that God will come through again. With all of this being said, nothing and no one can get in the way of God’s plan. Why? Well, God is God and His love will NOT be denied. Luke 13 displays this tenacious love through some mother hen feistiness in Jesus…

I can hardly wait to preach this sermon. To God be the glory.

The Pastor -|—

Your Glory

It is indeed right and salutary
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to You,
oh God,
our Creator and Redeemer.
Through Jesus Christ You showed us Your amazing grace and mercy. Through Jesus Christ You revealed Your abundant love.
Through Jesus Christ You defeated sin, Satan and the power of death. Through Jesus Christ You revealed Your glory
and showed us THE path to You and thus eternal life.
May we listen to Jesus and thus proclaim this glory.
And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven,
we join in proclaiming this glory
and singing Your unending praise…

The Pastor -|—

Advent Prayer — Come, Holy Spirit

Father God,
holy and awesome,
gracious and merciful;
we are at the threshold of the anniversary of your glorious and loving entry into human history.
You burst into our lives in humble means
and inaugurated the beginning of the end of Your plan;
Your plan for our redemption through Jesus Christ.
And now,
we anxiously await the coming of the bridegroom
to return to gather up his bride,
the Church;
a glorious promise of New Life.
And so,
as You sent Your Holy Spirit to Mary and Elizabeth,
send Your Holy Spirit to us now.
May we, too, be filled with joy and shout from the mountain tops
that Jesus, our Lord, is coming.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—