The Creator of All Things Became a Thing (Christmas 2, Year C)

Second Sunday of Christmas, Year C
Sirach 24:1-12; John 1:1-18
Sunday, January 3, 2010

Grace to you and peace, from the one who is, and who was, and who is to come.  Amen.

So how about that for something different?
Today we read from a book called Sirach,
    a book written about 130 before Jesus' birth by a Jewish teacher and temple leader,
    a book which looks and feels and sounds much like the book of Proverbs,
    a book which offers brief teachings on daily living,
        and which eloquently describes God's wisdom as coming to the people Israel.
This deuterocanonical book is included in Roman Catholic and Orthodox Bibles,
    but not in the Bibles we Lutherans and other protestants generally use.
That word, deuterocanonical, refers to books that are not in the canon,
    that is, not in the accepted collection of Biblical books,
    but which constitute a sort of "second canon,"
    nonetheless recognized for their faithfulness.
The early Church fathers read and commented on the deuterocanonical books,
    as did the Jewish rabbis of their era.
Martin Luther commended Sirach and other deuterocanonical books
    for reading and personal study,
    and we would do well to keep them in our reading from time to time.

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Looking for Jesus (Christmas Eve)

Christmas Eve
Luke 2:1-20
Thursday, December 24, 2009

This sermon was delivered at our 5pm family service.  The first part of the sermon is the children's sermon, where children gather near the altar where a nativity scene is displayed.  The children's portion of the sermon was preached without notes … what follows below is what I prepared in advance.

Merry Christmas!
What a great night it is!  I'm so excited for Christmas.
But you know something, even though it is Christmas,
I have to tell you how much I like Eater egg hunts!
    I love Easter Egg hunts!
    Running around the yard looking for eggs, and putting them in a basket ….
It's loads of fun, isn't it?
But today isn't Easter, is it?
We're not wearing our Easter dresses and suits,
    we don't have baskets,
    and we certainly don't have chocolate bunnies at home waiting for us!
So why am I talking about Easter Egg Hunts?

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Blessed Purpling (Christmas 2, Year B)

Second Sunday of Christmas, Year B
January 4, 2009
John 1:1-18

Grace, mercy and peace be to you from the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

No purpling.  No purpling.
That was one of our most important rules at the synod youth events I helped coordinate
    for many years back in Pennsylvania.
No purpling.
This rule’s funny terminology comes from a simple graphic:
    a boy figure colored blue, a girl figure colored red . . .
        and when the two come together, a single figure in purple.
    At this youth event we highly discourage, how do I say this, “romantic activity”
        that would thus cause the blue and red to mix and create purple.

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