Favorite Christmas Hymns

Throughout Advent, I invited the congregation at Lebanon UMC to vote for their favorite Christmas Hymns, and for the first Sunday after Christmas, we counted them down-- well, not in order, but as part of the worship service. I shared some history of each song, gleaned from the wisdom of the Internets, and I did… Continue reading Favorite Christmas Hymns

Sermon: Hope Unexpected

"Hope Unexpected" (December 13, 2015) Mary and Elizabeth, two people who each failed at their one job (to provide their husbands with sons, of course), are perhaps in the best position to grasp and proclaim exactly how powerful God's transformation is, and how much hope turns things upside-down, if we dare to hold on to… Continue reading Sermon: Hope Unexpected

Sermon: For the Love of Joseph

"It Takes a Village: For the Love of Joseph" (December 6, 2015) Joseph¬†makes a¬†radical decision, when her learned of her alleged infidelity, first to divorce Mary quietly, and then not to divorce her at all but to join with her in marriage, and to raise their child together, even naming Jesus as his own son.… Continue reading Sermon: For the Love of Joseph

Sermon: Simeon, Anna, and Expectation

"It Takes a Village: Simeon, Anna, and Expectation" (November 29, 2015) Jesus was born into a community, a context, a village, and the people in that context and community are important. The prophets-- from those of old like Jeremiah, to those contemporary and near-contemporary with Jesus like Simeon and Anna-- expressed the people's longing for… Continue reading Sermon: Simeon, Anna, and Expectation

Advent Worship Series- It Takes a Village

Our Advent theme is "It Takes a Village." We are recalling the Nigerian proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. Jesus was a child-- a remarkable one, but still a child-- and the people in his village, his neighborhood, his context, were important in understanding how and why his birth and life… Continue reading Advent Worship Series- It Takes a Village

Sermon: The Thirteenth Day of Christmas

"The Thirteenth Day of Christmas" (Jan 8, 2012 - observing Epiphany) The Christmas season does not end on December 26, nor can it be contained to one place, one time, one people. Christmas-- and its message of God's presence with us, our hope and strength in the midst of the world's struggle-- is uncontrollable and… Continue reading Sermon: The Thirteenth Day of Christmas