151209 Matthew 1:18-25

Text: Matthew 1:18-25
Theme: A Dream Come True

Can you remember what you dreamed about last night? Whether you are the kind of person who is able to recall every detail or the kind who rarely remembers a thing, I think almost everyone has had the following experience.

Something is dominating your thoughts, so much so that you are unable to think about anything else. Maybe it's a deadline at work. Maybe it's a problem at school. Whatever it is, you can't put it out of your mind. You can't even escape when you go to sleep because somehow it tunnels its way into your subconscious and becomes a part of your dreams.

Do you think it's possible that Joseph had a similar experience as he wrestled with a very difficult decision? He was happy. He was engaged to be married. He was looking forward to the future. But then he learned that Mary was pregnant, and he knew that he wasn't the father. He was upset. He was troubled. He was hurt.

You could say that Joseph's life had become a nightmare...until he had that dream, a very special dream, a dream that answered his questions, and dream that removed all his doubts and fears. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, everything changed, for him and for us. And as we take a closer look at this miraculous encounter we will see that it was much more than a dream. For every child of God it is...

A DREAM COME TRUE

Read more: 151209 Matthew 1:18-25

151129 Jeremiah 33:14-16

Text: Jeremiah 33:14-16
Theme: Counting Down The Days To Christ's Coming

Today marks the first Sunday in Advent, the first Sunday in a new church year. Advent, which means "coming," is a special time for us to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. Advent is also the time when many of the faithful shake their heads at what this season has become.

I have heard quite a few sermons (and probably preached a few of my own) that lamented the fact that what was designed to be a time of quiet contemplation has been overtaken by the stress of deadlines and the frenzy of commercialism. The season of Advent has become a time to overspend and overindulge and overextend ourselves.

There is nothing wrong with warning people not to get caught up in all the planning and preparations for the holidays. There is nothing wrong with reminding people that Jesus is the reason for the season. But I do have a problem with Advent sermons (including some sermons in my personal files) that fail to offer any solutions.

Today I want to do something about that. I have a suggestion to help you keep your spiritual priorities in order for the next three and a half weeks. It isn't anything new. It isn't expensive. It isn't time-consuming. If you don't already have one, let me encourage you to go out and pick up one of these. It's an Advent calendar.

Display it in a prominent place in your home. Set aside a few moments each day to open a new door. Talk about the spiritual significance of what you find inside. And as your Advent calendar counts down the days to Christmas, you will also have the opportunity to count your blessings.

Jeremiah never had the benefit of an Advent calendar. Jeremiah never heard of Advent. He lived hundreds of years before Mary wrapped baby Jesus in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. All he had was a promise. God had given his people a promise that a Savior would come, but Jeremiah had no idea when that promise would be fulfilled.

Kind of like us. Jesus has given us a promise that he will come again, but only he knows when that day will be. And so we wait. We wait with eager expectation. We wait with Jeremiah, whose prophetic words remind us that during this Advent season we are not just counting down the days to another Christmas. We are also...

COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS TO CHRIST'S COMING

I. The day when a righteous Branch will sprout from David's line
II. The day when God's people will be given a new name

Read more: 151129 Jeremiah 33:14-16

151126 Psalm 34:8

Text: Psalm 34:8
Theme: Taste And See That The Lord Is Good

In the name of Christ Jesus, dear fellow partakers of the feast that our Savior God sets before us today:

"I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam-I-am." Thus begins one of the most famous children's books of all time. No matter how hard Sam-I-am tries, he cannot convince his friend to eat green eggs and ham.

He will not eat them in a house. He will not eat them with a mouse. He will not eat them in a box. He will not eat them with a fox. He will not eat them in a car or on a train or in the dark or in the rain or with a goat or in a boat. He does not like them here or there. He does not like them anywhere...

Until he finally tries them. And when he takes a bite, he realizes that green eggs and ham aren't so bad after all. In fact, he likes them. He likes them so much that he eats them until they are all gone. All he had to do was experience them for himself. All he needed to do was take a little taste.

Even though the poetry of Dr. Seuss and the sermon text for today are very different, they express a similar sentiment. The Seuss says that you can't really appreciate something until you have tasted it for yourself. David says that you can't fully appreciate the blessings of God until you have experienced them for yourself.

So on this Thanksgiving Day that is exactly what we will do. Let us...

TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD

Read more: 151126 Psalm 34:8

151122 Daniel 7:13-14

Text: Daniel 7:13-14

Theme: Are You Ready to Meet Your King?

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

During the Sundays in November, we have been observing the final Sundays in the Christian Church year. We began with our celebration of the Lutheran Reformation. Two weeks ago God's Word reminded us that the Lord will come as the Judge on the great Last Day. Last Sunday, God's Word reminded us that heaven is the home of all the Saints Triumphant who believe in Jesus Christ as their only Savior from sin. This Sunday we celebrate the last Sunday of the Church year. It is also known as "Christ, the King" Sunday. On this day, God's Word reminds you and me that the Lord Jesus is the Almighty King of kings and Lord of lords, ruling over all things. And this almighty King is coming. Are you ready? Are you ready to meet Jesus, the King? It is very important that we be ready to meet Jesus, the King; for the King will come and the King will rule.

Read more: 151122 Daniel 7:13-14

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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