Isaiah 61:10-62:3

Psalm 147:12-20

Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18

John 1:1-18



“Mountain Proclamation!”

 

Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen.

 

Do you ever get the feeling that you have something to say that is so important that you must get on the highest platform and shout for all to hear your proclamation? When you realize something and you just have to let all present know of your realization? For example, some good news is given to you about the birth of a new member of the family and you just have to call all your relatives, your friends, post on social media, hey might as well tell the random person in the grocery or fast food restaurant. You have a pathological need to express this news that is so important; why wouldn’t that random person fishing on the Erie be just as excited as you upon hearing the good news? But on the flip-side, say the news is daunting and terrifying, and needs to be said for the sake of other people’s safety. Say you see a man enter a building with a mask and a gun with his finger on the trigger? Say you see a shark in the water, a boulder from on high about to fall, green in the clouds, smoke? Or say you got wind of an attack from the west of planes coming and attacking a harbor, the assassination of a president, two towers attacked by two planes.

 

Whether good or bad, there are things that propel us to proclamations, proclamations where we wish we were on the highest mountains so all the world would know. And for us Christians, we too have a proclamation: God has become flesh and walks among us, He has come.

 

The Savior that has been promised of old who was to be the light in the darkness and life to the dead, who was to be the way, the door to heaven, and through whom eternal life in a glorious righteous Kingdom? He has come, He is here, and He will always be here. For it says in Scripture, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

 

This Word was there in the beginning, it molded the earth, and the Word, which is and is with God, has always been there. Though we did not see Him, we knew He was there, always present and always providing. But on that most glorious day, with the angels singing, the star in the sky, the magi travelling, the Word became visible. The Word took on flesh and bone so that He may walk among us, eat with us, be merry with us, preach to us, touch us, heal us, and eventually die for us. God became a human.

 

What greater reason to proclaim on the highest mountain than that?

 

Now one great way of proclaiming the Good news of Jesus’ birth is through music. So once again, I ask for volunteers to help distribute one silver chime to each person, please start with the chimes with the stickers on the front. And if there are any left overs you may distribute the rest of the silver chimes. Those who were here last week noticed the new color coded stickers I applied to each chime. I ask that as the chimes are being passed around that you take note of the colors.

 

As a reminder, I would like to demonstrate how to use chimes. Now your turn, first all orange chimes. Now all red chimes. Now all blue chimes. One more time for each. Very Good.

 

So once again I ask, what greater way to proclaim the birth of Christ, as if we are on a mountain top, than through music? Therefore, let us sing, “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”

 

Now we are not alone in our proclamations, the angels sing with us too, singing of His birth and calling all to come and worship Christ the newborn King. Let us sing of the angels through, “Angels, from the Realms of Glory.”

 

Now as the season of Christmas comes to an end, the season of Epiphany approaches. Epiphany, the season of epiphanies, a season of those who receive the good news and believe, a time to recognize the birthing of new Christians who heard our mountain proclamations, and a time to recognize those who were wise enough to realize the coming of our King, who were these wise men? Let us sing of them through, “We Three Kings.”

 

Christmas is coming to an end, and with that the chimes will be put away in the storage closet awaiting their next usage, whenever that may be. It was fun these last two seasons, Advent and Christmas, playing on the chimes, but all good things must come to a close. But, Christmas is not over, we still have two more days of Christmas left, therefore let us end our chime extravaganza by singing, once again, “We Wish you a Merry Christmas.”

 

Thank you and Merry Christmas. I ask that you please leave your chimes in the pews, and after service I will collect and wipe down all our chimes.

 

Let us pray,

 

Dear Heavenly Father, we are forever grateful to you for through you a son was given; a son who is our King, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Advocate, and our Messiah. Move our hearts so that we who are filled with the Holy Spirit shout for all to hear that the Christ Child is here and that through Him all may be saved. In your most holy name we pray, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Isaiah 45:22-25

Psalm 111

Colossians 3:12-17

Luke 2:25-40

 

“It’s still Christmas!”

 

Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen.

 

Each year, after Thanksgiving, I will turn on the radio and I will hear quite a bit of Advent and Christmas music playing. Now whereas I have no problem with hearing Advent music leading up to Christmas, such as, “Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel”, I always find it odd to hear Christmas music. I get mixed feelings because I love the music and would sing them throughout the year for they are beautiful music, but I can be such a purist and go full Scrooge and say, “Bah Humbug! It’s not Christmas yet”.

 

What makes this even more interesting is some stations will just outright stop playing Christmas music during the twelve days of Christmas. They do all this build up, but as soon as the Day of Our Lord’s birth comes and goes so does the Christmas music. Now not all stations do this, but I feel so sad for those stations that do end this special music. “Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?” Sometimes I wonder if they do, because they may play the Song, “Do they know it’s Christmas,” throughout the season of Advent, but during the season of Christmas they stop.

 

We are still in the season of Christmas, the first Sunday of Christmas, the 3rd day of Christmas to be exact. And next week will still be Christmas, the 10th day of Christmas. So I ask this, what does Christmas mean? Is it just the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord who came so that he would die on the cross for the sake of all our sins? What if I was to say we celebrate Christmas every Sunday? Every Sunday do we not worship Christ, do we not conduct a mass for Christ? Do we not, every Sunday conduct a Christ’s mass, a Christmas? We do, for Christmas is all about worshiping the Lord who has indeed come into this world as a light to guide the nations and provide the much needed grace in order for us to be saved and obtain this guarantee of God’s inheritance. Yet, Christmas, the celebration of our Lord’s coming, started with that first fateful day, the day that the Lord was born.

 

In our Gospel, to Simeon, the day that he finally laid eyes on the Lord’s Christ must have been a Christmas for him, for he was promised that he would not die until after he saw the Messiah. Christ is the ultimate gift for humanity, and for those who exchanges gifts during Christmas, he is also the source of the greatest exchange, our sins for His righteousness. Jesus is indeed the ultimate gift, gifted on Christmas day, and he is the ultimate gift which is eternal. He didn’t come and go. His mercy and grace didn’t come and go. He is here, today, and he will always be here now and forever more. He is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

 

So, when spring and summer comes around and I turn on the radio only to hear Christmas music, I will go into scrooge mode, “Bah Humbug, It’s not Christmas”, but to be honest, I will be secretly surprised and pleased for do we not celebrate the coming of our Lord, Christmas, every day?

 

So unlike those stations that stop playing Christmas music during the season of Christmas, let us continue our playing of the chimes. So once again, I ask for volunteers to help distribute one silver chime to each person, please start with the chimes with the stickers on the front. And if there are any left overs you may distribute the rest of the silver chimes. Those who were here last week noticed the new color coded stickers I applied to each chime. I ask that as the chimes are being passed around that you take note of the colors.

 

As a reminder, I would like to demonstrate how to use chimes. Now your turn, first all orange chimes. Now all red chimes. Now all blue chimes. One more time for each. Very Good.

 

In the night in which the King was born, there shone a light which engulfed the darkness and sin of our world, and behold on Mary’s lap was this sleeping babe, and in the sky singing angels. Now here I would ask you to sing a song that portrays the image I had just presented. But I am perplexed for I have two songs and will only choose one, so I need your help. Should we sing the much easier, “What Child is this?”, or the much more difficult, “O Holy Night”? For “What child is this?” please chime… For “O holy Night”, please chime. Let us play…

 

Yes, while the Christ child laid, in the sky angels proclaimed gloria’s and praise, for the lord has come. But what were some of their proclamations? Let us figure out by singing, “Hark the herald angels sing”.

 

And just like the angels who sing up above in praise we too here lift up our joyous song for earth has received her King. Let us sing, “Joy to the World”.

 

If you may recall, up to know we have ended each section with a “We wish you a Merry Christmas”, because Christmas was coming. Now that the day of Christmas has passed us should we still sing this song? Christmas has not passed us, we are still celebrating Christmas, today is Christmas and Christmas has 9 more days left. I say we wish each other a Merry Christmas for today and the rest of the Christmas season…

 

Thank you and Merry Christmas. I ask that you please leave your chimes in the pews, and after service I will collect and wipe down all our chimes.

 

Let us pray,

 

Dear Heavenly Father, we are forever grateful to you for through you a son was given; a son who is our King, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Advocate, and our Messiah. He is the gift that keeps on giving for he is still here, providing for us endless grace, mercy, and an abundance of love. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.

Isaiah 61:1-3, 10-11

Luke 1:46b-55

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

John 1:6-8, 19-28

 

“The Magnificat”

 

Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen.

 

Today is a day of rejoice, a day of mirth, a day of praise, a day to magnify the Lord. Whereas Advent is a time of preparation and expectations when we anticipate the coming of our Lord, today we rejoice amidst our preparations for God is indeed coming, and is here.

 

Our rejoicing is liken to that of Mary’s who upon hearing the good news from Gabriel that she was to be the mother of God, sang what is now known as the Magnificat. We spoke it in lieu of the Psalms today, and after this sermon we will sing it as one of our Hymns.

 

Now, when Mary lifted her voice in song, proclaiming her joy she said many things to include, “My Soul Magnifies” and “spirit rejoices” in the Lord. She also said she has been blesses by the Lord, that he has done great things for her. She is overflowing with joy! She is rejoicing!

 

Of course some may call her haughty because she did say that “from now on all generations will call me blessed”, but here is the thing she was indeed blessed, and she isn’t wrong, all generations from there on out have indeed called her blessed. Now we don’t called her blessed for anything she has done. She is a sinner, like all other humans born of natural birth, therefore there is nothing particularly special about her that merit her being the mother of God, yet God still blessed her. And the very fact that she not only birthed but raised Jesus, how could not acknowledge that she was truly blessed? God the Father gave her an amazing gift, she was to bear the Savior of the World. Now what type of mother or father would not want to brag about that? I do not know of a loving parent who doesn’t brag something about their children. Some dads may gather and try to one up each other, all in good faith, to the aghast of their wives. And some mothers would love to gush, alongside other mothers, over their kids and proclaim how blessed they are. Now imagine if you knew that your child was to be the Savior of the World? Of course you will rejoice.

 

Now we may not be like Mary, who was blessed to be the mother of God, but we are like her in that through Christ we do have a relationship with him. For through Christ we have been adopted as also sons and daughters of God, therefore, through Christ, we are all brothers and sisters of Jesus. And what better way to rejoice in such an amazing blessing than, just like Mary, through song?

 

So once again, I ask for volunteers to help distribute one silver chime to each person, please start with the chimes with the stickers on the front. And if there are any left overs you may distribute the rest of the silver chimes. Those who were here last week noticed the new color coded stickers I applied to each chime. I ask that as the chimes are being passed around that you take note of the colors.

As a reminder, I would like to demonstrate how to use chimes. Now your turn, first all orange chimes. Now all red chimes. Now all blue chimes. One more time for each. Very Good.

 

We begin our hymns of rejoicing, providing our own Magnificat, with an image of angels singing over the plains “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”, let us sing, “Angels We have heard on High”.

 

After the angels proclaimed their praise, much to the astonishment of wise men, shepherds, Mary and Joseph, many of the angels proclaimed the coming birth of Jesus and provided all an invitation. All ye who are faithful, come to Bethlehem, so you too may behold the King. So let us sing, “O Come, All ye Faithful”.

 

And after the invitation many left to see this new born king, many left to behold this child born in Bethlehem. So let us sing, “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”.

 

There is much to rejoice, and as we rejoice, let us finish by wishing each other a Merry Christmas, by singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas”.

 

I ask that you please leave your chimes in the pews, and after service I will collect and wipe down all our chimes.

 

Let us pray,

 

Dear Heavenly Father, we lift our voice in praise as we magnify your Holy Name, for you have blessed us through your promise and, through keeping your promise, you have delivered to us a child, a king. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

Psalm 89:1-4, 14-18

Romans 16:25-27

Luke 1:26-38

 

“Mary did you know?”

 

Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen.

 

Last we spoke, sang, and even heard a sermon about the Magnificat that Mary sang in Luke. Now I made a slight goof in that sermon, in that I said that her Magnificat was in response to what we just read in today’s Gospel. In reality, the Magnificat was in response to Elizabeth who, through the Holy Spirit, blessed Mary as the “Mother of my Lord.” This happened right after Gabriel spoke to Mary and is the point in scripture when John the Baptist leapt in his womb upon meeting Jesus who was in His womb.

 

So why give this correction? Well first, it is to get the record straight, but second, it is to point out that Mary’s Magnificat was not just a mere response to Gabriel. She has been mulling over the words preached to her by this angel, and finally, after hearing Elizabeth’s proclamation, the joy and knowledge Mary had started gushing out. She didn’t just hear Gabriel, she listened and understood him. And what did he tell her? Quite plainly, that she was to bear the Son of God through a virgin birth, which, as a Jew, she knew was in reference to the prophecies found in Isaiah.

 

There is a most beautiful song that is sung during the time of Christmas, a fairly recent song, that can be interpreted as either rhetorical or extremely condescending, “Mary did you Know.” I hear it on the radio and sometimes in Churches and the chords and words of the song are, equally, so powerful. But what are the lyrics?

 

[Sing verse 1 of “Mary did you know”]

 

That is a piece, but other questions asked include: did you know that he will cure the blind, the deaf, the lame; that he will calm the storm; that he is God; that he is the Lord of all creation; that he will rule the nations; that he is heaven’s perfect Lamb?

 

What if I was to tell you that, except the particular miracles, she knew all of this? Mary heard the words of Gabriel, and she knew the prophecies, and she professed her knowledge through the Magnificat. She knew that Jesus will perform miracles, that He is our Savior, that with him comes newness of life, that He will deliver her, that He was God and the Great I am, that He will rule all, that He is the Lamb. She knew all of this. Which is why I ask, as you sing the powerful song, “Mary did you know,” that you ask yourself, is this a condescending biblically illiterate song that paints Mary as a young clueless person or is this a song full of rhetorical questions designed to compel you to proclaim, to shout on the highest mountains, “of course she knew,” and then lead us to the Bible to confirm the knowledge and wisdom she did possess.

 

Now we won’t be singing “Mary did you know” through the chimes, but we will be playing the chimes. So once again, I ask for volunteers to help distribute one silver chime to each person, please start with the chimes with the stickers on the front. And if there are any left overs you may distribute the rest of the silver chimes. Those who were here last week noticed the new color coded stickers I applied to each chime. I ask that as the chimes are being passed around that you take note of the colors.

 

As a reminder, I would like to demonstrate how to use chimes. Now your turn, first all orange chimes. Now all red chimes. Now all blue chimes. One more time for each. Very Good.

 

There are many stories of angels coming to proclaim things throughout the Bible, some sing halleluiahs, others preach good news, all come in such a shocking manner. So let us sing of the angels who came to us through “It came upon the midnight clear.”

 

After receiving the good news many traveled, the amazing birth was coming, the amazing heavenly peace was coming, for whereas the days may dark and filled with concern and worry, through Christ our nights are calm, bright, and silent. Let us sing, in remembrance of this calm, “Silent Night.”

 

And on that fateful day, many travelled to Bethlehem to see the Christ child, this king, and when they came, they found him not in some extravagant cradle, but in a lowly manger. Let us sing, “Away in a Manger.”

 

Christmas is just around the corner, but it is not quite here, so in preparation for the coming birth let us finish by wishing each other a Merry Christmas, by singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”

 

I ask that you please leave your chimes in the pews, and after service I will collect and wipe down all our chimes.

 

Let us pray,

 

Dear Heavenly Father, we lift our voice in praise as we magnify your Holy Name, for you have blessed us with many proclamations and prophecies. You forget not your lowly servants but send to us angels to let us know that the King is coming. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Isaiah 61:1-3, 10-11

Luke 1:46b-55

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

John 1:6-8, 19-28

 

“The Magnificat”

 

Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen.

 

Today is a day of rejoice, a day of mirth, a day of praise, a day to magnify the Lord. Whereas Advent is a time of preparation and expectations when we anticipate the coming of our Lord, today we rejoice amidst our preparations for God is indeed coming, and is here.

 

Our rejoicing is liken to that of Mary’s who upon hearing the good news from Gabriel that she was to be the mother of God, sang what is now known as the Magnificat. We spoke it in lieu of the Psalms today, and after this sermon we will sing it as one of our Hymns.

 

Now, when Mary lifted her voice in song, proclaiming her joy she said many things to include, “My Soul Magnifies” and “spirit rejoices” in the Lord. She also said she has been blesses by the Lord, that he has done great things for her. She is overflowing with joy! She is rejoicing!

 

Of course some may call her haughty because she did say that “from now on all generations will call me blessed”, but here is the thing she was indeed blessed, and she isn’t wrong, all generations from there on out have indeed called her blessed. Now we don’t called her blessed for anything she has done. She is a sinner, like all other humans born of natural birth, therefore there is nothing particularly special about her that merit her being the mother of God, yet God still blessed her. And the very fact that she not only birthed but raised Jesus, how could not acknowledge that she was truly blessed? God the Father gave her an amazing gift, she was to bear the Savior of the World. Now what type of mother or father would not want to brag about that? I do not know of a loving parent who doesn’t brag something about their children. Some dads may gather and try to one up each other, all in good faith, to the aghast of their wives. And some mothers would love to gush, alongside other mothers, over their kids and proclaim how blessed they are. Now imagine if you knew that your child was to be the Savior of the World? Of course you will rejoice.

 

Now we may not be like Mary, who was blessed to be the mother of God, but we are like her in that through Christ we do have a relationship with him. For through Christ we have been adopted as also sons and daughters of God, therefore, through Christ, we are all brothers and sisters of Jesus. And what better way to rejoice in such an amazing blessing than, just like Mary, through song?

 

So once again, I ask for volunteers to help distribute one silver chime to each person, please start with the chimes with the stickers on the front. And if there are any left overs you may distribute the rest of the silver chimes. Those who were here last week noticed the new color coded stickers I applied to each chime. I ask that as the chimes are being passed around that you take note of the colors.

As a reminder, I would like to demonstrate how to use chimes. Now your turn, first all orange chimes. Now all red chimes. Now all blue chimes. One more time for each. Very Good.

 

We begin our hymns of rejoicing, providing our own Magnificat, with an image of angels singing over the plains “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”, let us sing, “Angels We have heard on High”.

 

After the angels proclaimed their praise, much to the astonishment of wise men, shepherds, Mary and Joseph, many of the angels proclaimed the coming birth of Jesus and provided all an invitation. All ye who are faithful, come to Bethlehem, so you too may behold the King. So let us sing, “O Come, All ye Faithful”.

 

And after the invitation many left to see this new born king, many left to behold this child born in Bethlehem. So let us sing, “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”.

 

There is much to rejoice, and as we rejoice, let us finish by wishing each other a Merry Christmas, by singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas”.

 

I ask that you please leave your chimes in the pews, and after service I will collect and wipe down all our chimes.

 

Let us pray,

 

Dear Heavenly Father, we lift our voice in praise as we magnify your Holy Name, for you have blessed us through your promise and, through keeping your promise, you have delivered to us a child, a king. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible Verse of the Day

Contact Us

Address
2370 N.E. Catawba Road
Port Clinton, Ohio 43452
Phone
(419) 797-4628