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Performing or Transforming?

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Second Sunday in Advent December 10, 2017 Performing or Transforming? Matthew 3:1-12
Preparing for Change There is hardly anything more life-transforming than the birth of a child, especially your first.  It was thirty-five years ago this year that our daughter, Meredith, made her entrance into the world.  When Diane was expecting, my mother-in-law bought a house for us to rent.  She didn’t want her grandchild living in an apartment in L.A.  Diane twisted my father-in-law’s arm to paint and wallpaper the bedroom which would become the nursery.  (Like the baby would really care!)  In the meantime, I pretty much cowered in the corner.  I knew my life was about to change, but had no idea to what extent.
We’ve all had to prepare for change in our lives.  If it wasn’t a new baby, it might have been a new job or, even more challenging, a new boss.  The issue of change and new realities was the landscape of the beginning of each of the four Gospels.  John the Baptist set up shop out in the wildern…

The Yearning

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The Yearning Romans 8:18-25
Introduction It’s finally December.  There are only few more weeks left until we finally turn the page on 2017.  As we look forward to a new year, we will also look back and reflect on what happened during the past twelve months.  News programs will begin running spots on what happened in politics, the weather, sports, violence and other tragedies.  A few may even run positive stories, but they don’t seem to be as newsworthy as all the bad stuff that happened to us on this planet. 
Simply put, this world is broken.  The little things that bother us and make us cranky are nothing compared what goes on in the rest of the world.  Typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes kill thousands of innocent people every year.  Defenseless men, women, and children are murdered every year so that powerful people can satisfy their lust for even more power.  According to World Vision’s latest statistics, over 21 million children and adults are trapped in forced labor or sex slavery a…

Free Indeed!

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Christ the King Sunday November 26, 2017 John 8:31-36
You’re Gonna Have to Serve Somebody We’ve just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, a wonderful national holiday.  While we are deeply troubled as a people, we still have much to be thankful for.  We are known as the “Home of the Brave and the Free.”  Our nation and our government were founded on the principles of freedom. 
In some ways, it’s a pipe dream. No one is truly free.  We all serve some thing or someone. 
In the late 70’s, Bob Dylan had a Christian conversion experience and his change in perspective began to show up in his music – which, of course, some people absolutely hated.  Evangelical Christians, on the other hand, were thrilled and wanted to pull him into the booming contemporary Christian music marketplace.  Thankfully, Dylan resisted.  He’s never been anyone’s commodity. 
Of the songs that he wrote during this period in the early 80’s, my favorite has always been “You’re Gonna Have to Serve Somebody” because of its pla…