Sermon: Wait for It

Sunday, December 9, 2018
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Schuyler, NE
Second Sunday of Advent

When I was a little girl growing up, the time leading up to Christmas was my favorite time of year.  Like most kids, I was excited at the prospect of getting a long break from school, and most of all, I was excited to get presents!  My family always had a very strict protocol about the proper time for opening presents.  We waited until Christmas morning.  My brother and sister and I would wake our parents up at an ungodly early hour and be told to go back to bed a few times before they finally got up.  My dad would then shuffle downstairs to get his camera while the three of us waited with Mom at the top of the stairs, until Dad was ready for us to come down.  I have no idea what all Dad was actually doing downstairs – but I do remember that it always took foreeeeeeever for him to give us the go-ahead to come down.  Maybe it just seemed like an interminably long time because I was so small and impatient (as opposed to large and impatient, like I am now).  But I vividly remember sitting at the top of that long, narrow staircase in my pajamas, waiting with my brother and sister, our little butts scooched right to the very edge of the top stair.  I remember the electric feeling of excitement in my whole body, like a coiled up spring, just waiting to bounce down those stairs as fast as my little legs could go.

This waiting, this excitement and expectation, is what the season of Advent is all about.  We are waiting with bated breath – not knowing yet what exactly we will find at the bottom of the stairs, but trusting that it will be marvellous and worth the wait.

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Sermon: Anchored in Hope

Sunday, November 18, 2018
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Schuyler, NE
Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Our texts for today are full of chaos and trouble.  There are times of anguish, conflicts with cosmic enemies, destruction, war, earthquakes, famine, and pain.  These are texts that point us ahead toward the future unraveling of creation – the end of all things.

These seem like kind of jarring themes for us to be focusing on now.  Right now, the rest of the world is gearing up for the bright season of Christmas – with candy canes and silver lanes already aglow! In contrast, the end of the Christian liturgical year – which actually ends next Sunday – is a bit darker and a lot more apocalyptic.  As the days get shorter, we are preparing ourselves to begin a new year with the season of Advent.  We are still waiting in the darkness for a light to shine.

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