Tag Archives: Birth of Jesus

“Manger and Mystery: Recovering the Stable” (December 2, 2018) w/ Vern Collins

First Sunday in Advent

from Isaiah 9:1-7

As we begin the season of Advent, the march toward Christmas we must acknowledge that there is much that is familiar about this time of year.  There are traditions we uphold, customs, gatherings that happen every year, people we expect to see, even food we expect to eat…it is part of what makes this time of year so special…being able to enjoy things that we don’t always get to.

What if in the familiar, we have lost sight of that which is foundational to our reason for celebrating?  Has the birth of Christ simply become for us another familiar tradition rather then the foundation of our hope and the expectation of our future?

w/ Vern Collins

“Advent Conspiracy: Love All” (December 18, 2016)

from Matthew 1:18-25

Advent was never just about the single event of the birth of Christ…yes, it represents the waiting, the hope, the expectation…yes it connects us with those who hoped for so long to see God’s promised Messiah…and yes, it now offers us a framework as we wait for Christ to return.

But Advent was about much more than a significant event…Advent IS about much more than a significant event.  It is about the Kingdom Christ came to establish.  It is about reminding us that His Kingdom is still here and we are called to live in to it…to live into our new citizenship.

Worshipping Fully, Spending Less, and Giving More are all characteristics of the life of a Christ follower…but when we Love All we begin to look a lot more like Jesus Himself.

w/ Vern Collins

“Advent Conspiracy: Spend Less” (December 4, 2016)

from Matthew 6:19-21, 24

In all of the natural world, humans have the greatest proclivity toward collecting things.  Sure, there are animals that store away food, but with the intention of consuming it when there is no food to gather.  Humans, however, collect things that may never have an purpose beyond essentially taking up space.  Whether you hold on to furniture, trinkets, finances, or the latest technology…chances are there are things you have that you simply do not need.  And yet, too often, it is the “stuff” that holds our focus more than anything else.  Having it.  Acquiring it.  Longing for it.  Keeping it safe.  We worry a great deal about things in our world that ultimately only have a fleeting value.

Jesus, on the other hand, suggests that the treasure we store up ought to have an eternal value to them…that instead of storing up treasure on this part, we store up treasure in heaven.  When we hold that teaching up next to the simple manner in which Jesus was born into this world, then storing up Kingdom treasure looks a lot less like material investment and much more like becoming preoccupied with the hearts of others.

w/ Vern Collins

“Revelation: Worship” (Christmas Eve 2015 6:00pm service)

from Luke 2:1-20

Order.  We spend a great deal of time and energy in our lives seeking to achieve and maintain some sort of order.  And yet, all it takes is a phone call, a meeting at work, a notice in the mail, a visit to the doctor to realize that at any given moment we are a breath away from chaos breaking in and disrupting our safe, calculated lives.

The good news is, as a census was being taken in the Roman Empire…as order was being set…Jesus was entering the world…not in the midst of order, but on the fringe of it…on the edge of chaos.

In unexpected ways to unlikely people the birth of Jesus and news of His birth came…with a proclamation that through Christ, God is coming to make peace in the midst of the chaos…

w/ Vern Collins