We Are Worthy

Text: Luke 2:1-20

The shepherds never really had much reason to feel like they were worth much. They looked dirty because they were dirty. They smelled worse. They were imparted with the important and high job of raising the animals that were to be used in the sacrifices of penitence and worship given in the Temple in Jerusalem, but they were also considered unclean and therefore forbidden from entering the Temple themselves.

Society despised them. They were ridiculed, rejected, outcast, and alone. No one took his son out into the fields and encouraged him to aspire to the grand job of shepherding a flock. Shepherding was not considered a grand job. The task once fine for the likes of Jacob (Israel’s namesake), Moses, and David was no worthy goal for a young Jewish lad in the time of Caesar Augustus.

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Seven Words of Worship: Experience

Text: Psalm 24

We are coming now to the end of our study of the Seven Words of Worship that we began back in July. We have looked at worship through the lenses of Creation, Grace, Love, Response, Expression, and Presence. Today we come to the seventh and final word of our study: Experience. In this word of worship, we are reminded that worship should above all else be both an experience of God and an experience with God.

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What Are We Waiting For?: Just Leaders (Advent II)

Isaiah 11:1-11

We remain in the season of Advent this week, this first season of the church’s liturgical year that ebbs and flows in a series of worship and contemplation and learning. Advent is the season of hopeful, expectant anticipation as we look eagerly toward the events that we celebrate on December 24 and 25 when we remember and glory in the incarnation of God the Son as Emmanuel – God With Us and among us and as one of us. God, giving up the rights and throne and wonders of heaven – not considering them things to grasp hold of and cling to – but giving them up to become a helpless baby laying on the hay in a manger inside a stable because there was no room in the inn for a heavily pregnant woman to deliver her baby. Such would be the story of the life of Jesus who said that foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of Man had no place on which to rest His head.

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What Are We Waiting For?: Pax Dei

Isaiah 2:1-5

Invariably, before every storm comes, there is a lull. Some of the most beautiful weather the Gulf of Mexico can produce comes on the eve of a hurricane. All of the energy of the wind is sucked into the storm, leaving nothing but a light breeze and clear skies to foretell of the ominous threat looming offshore. When a line of strong thunderstorms approaches, the air gets eerily still. Thus our English phrase, “the calm before the storm.” Standing in the midst of it, knowing that the radar shows an intense squall approaching, the anticipation can be unnerving.

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