There is something distinctly un-sentimental about the historical form that the Christian liturgical calendar has come to exhibit during the season of Christmas. The Feast of the Nativity is immediately followed the next day by the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Today (December 28) is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the date on the calendar set aside for commemorating the children massacred following the birth of Jesus as depicted in the Gospel of Matthew (2:16-18). In this way, the Christian liturgical calendar is simply following the brutal realism of Scripture. The coming of the Prince of Peace sets on edge the petty tyrants of our world like Herod. Continue reading The Feast of the Holy Innocents and the Tyrannical Despiser of Humanity
A Guest Post by Paul Johansen
This is the seventeenth in a series of posts engaging with the sermons in Leaps of Faith: Sermons from the Edge. This post is a reflection upon a Christmas Eve sermon entitled “When a Hallmark Christmas Isn’t Good Enough” (pp. 78-84). The Scriptural text for the sermon was Luke 2:1-20. Continue reading When a Hallmark Christmas Isn’t Good Enough
With the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) appearing as a potential reading in the lectionary last Sunday and again this coming Sunday and with the Annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-38) standing as the Gospel reading for the fourth Sunday of Advent, it seems timely to share an excerpt from a sermon entitled, “Let Heav’n and Nature Sing!” from my book Leaps of Faith: Continue reading The Song of the Son
The following is the text of a sermon I preached at Fallingbrook Presbyterian Church in Scarborough on the first Sunday of Advent. The Scripture readings were Psalm 98 and Revelation 19:1-9.
Advent is my favourite season of the Christian year, but it seems like the observation of the season of Advent is becoming an increasingly counter-cultural activity. While Starbucks has been serving its Christmas blend in its signature Christmas cups for over a month and Swiss Chalet has been offering its festive meal for almost as long, Advent tells us we are still waiting. While the music blaring in malls and on radios announces that it is the most wonderful time of the year, Advent says to us “Not yet.” Continue reading “Judgement”: A Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent