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Entries from December 2006

Christmas charity: Emerson and Barth

December 25th, 2006 by isaac · 4 Comments

It’s Christmas and the bells are ringing. Sure, the jingle bells on Santa’s sleigh. But also those bells at the grocery store doors, where the Salvation Army’s faithful stand with collection plates at hand, ready for the generous overflow of our rampant holiday spending. I don’t count myself as atypical. I’ve put in my time […]

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Tags: life

commissioned for the pastorate

December 21st, 2006 by isaac · 3 Comments

Hands. So many hands. Fingers curling around my arms. Flattened palms pressing against my upper back. And a rough gardener’s palm resting on my hair, with fingers extending onto my forehead. At church about 6 months ago I stood in the center of thirty or forty people. From every possible direction they reached towards my […]

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Tags: life

an advent benediction

December 18th, 2006 by isaac · 6 Comments

I wrote a benediction for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Please feel free to use it, adjust it, or tell me why it’s wrong. —————————————————————————————————- As the apostle Paul says in Philippians, “The Lord is near” (4:5). We are witnesses of the dawning of that great light come into the world—Immanuel, God with us. May […]

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Tags: prayers · spirituality

Weekly Prayer #5

December 14th, 2006 by Jason · No Comments

A celtic prayer today, or at least a part of it since it’s very long. It’s one of my favorites, perhaps because of its earthiness. Many prayers seem so other-worldly or ethereal that I find them hard to connect with every-day life. Translation from The Celtic Way of Prayer. St. Patrick’s Breastplate For my shield […]

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Tags: prayers · theology

John the Baptist: Prepare the way for the coming of the Lord–an Advent sermon

December 10th, 2006 by isaac · 3 Comments

Another Advent sermon—this one is from the second Sunday of Advent. I was surprised by how much the folks at church responded to this one. People had lots to say. Many voices were heard during our sermon discussion time. ——————————————————————————————————— Title: Advent: prepare the way for the coming of the Lord Date: Dec. 10th, 2006 […]

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Tags: sermons

Inviting Uncle Ned to Dinner or Divine Election Rethought

December 4th, 2006 by Jason · 7 Comments

The doctrine of election has always made me cringe. It seems like one of those Uncle Ned doctrines. The one that you have to at least invite to dinner, but nobody is looking forward to him coming. I admit my attitude towards the doctrine has not been helped by some of of self-avowed Calvinist friends […]

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Tags: theology

Immanuel: God with us?–an Advent sermon

December 3rd, 2006 by isaac · 23 Comments

I preached this sermon tonight, the first Sunday of Advent. Enjoy. ——————————————————————————————————- Title: Immanuel: God with us? Date: Dec. 3, 2006 Place: Chapel Hill Mennonite Texts: Jeremiah 33:14-16; I Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36. When it comes to Christmas, I’m quite the sentimentalist. I love the music—even though it’s cheesy most of the time. I like […]

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Tags: sermons

the Messiah has arrived?–an Advent sermon

December 2nd, 2006 by isaac · 1 Comment

I just got back from Bluffton, Ohio. The Mennonite university in that town invited me to preach in their chapel on Thursday. I preached on the Luke 21 lectionary text from this Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent. ——————————————————————————————————— Title: Advent: the Messiah has arrived? Date: Dec. 30, 2006 Text: Luke 21:25-36 Place: Bluffton University […]

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Tags: sermons