30Dec

S1E05: Joseph the Dreamer (Christmas 2013)

When we say "Joseph the Dreamer," it's usually the young son of Jacob that comes to mind (See Genesis 40-42). Yet here in Matthew's Gospel we find that Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus, is spoken to in dreams. What can we learn from his obedience to the dreams God gives him?

Matthew 2:13-23

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on January 29, 2013 (Originally aired on January 5, 2014).

S.D.G.

27Dec

S4E14: The Word Made Flesh (Christmas Day 2016)

This podcast episode was originally published on December 30, 2016

I found it interesting that Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, but what may have been more interesting is the reaction many people had to having service on Christmas day. My rebuttal was usually in the vein of, "Well, if you don't want to come to church on Christmas, then don't." That might seem a bit blunt, but honestly, we as Christians are challenged to a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ than simply indulging in the gluttony of Christmas gift-giving. After all, what gift could possibly top the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus? None that I can think of. Through the opening stanzas of John's gospel we hear the incredible truth that Jesus is God, and that God became flesh and dwelt among us. It's a startling revelation that, once we as Christians fully understand it, we are never the same. So grab your Bible, turn it to John chapter 1, and prepare your heart and mind as we take a closer look at the Word made flesh.

John 1:1-14

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on December 25, 2016

S.D.G.

26Dec

S7E14: Light of the World (Songs of the Season pt. 5)

As we come to Christmas Eve yet again, we are faced with several questions. What does it mean that Jesus is the Light of the World? And what did Jesus mean when he said that we are the light of the world? Like dirty mirrors we reflect the light of Christ but imperfectly. Then we ask what it means that the people who lived in darkness have seen a great light? We all walk in darkness of sin until we embrace Jesus Christ and step into the light. It is a message so important, so good, that we refer to it as the good news. And God invites us to receive this news with joy, as he is reconciling the world to himself in Jesus Christ.

Luke 2:1-20; Isaiah 9:2-7

Recorded at Hudson UMC on December 24, 2019

S.D.G.

Tags:
Advent, Bible, Christ, Christianity, Christmas, Creation, faith, God, gospel, grace, Jesus, Methodist, preacher, religion, salvation, sermon, sin

24Dec

S7E13: Lift Up Your Heads (Songs of the Season pt. 4)

The holidays can be difficult for those who have suffered loss, because they are a constant reminder that there is an empty seat at the table, and the person we loved - a family member or a friend - is no longer with us. However, there is great promise in the word of God that tells us that the King of Glory is coming. We confess a creator-King, and we prepare to approach Him in worship, and we welcome Him in our midst. This week we look at a hymn called "Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates" which is based upon the 24th Psalm. We also look at the Hebrew word "Selah" and what it means to pause, reflect upon God's word, and let it sink deep into our lives. In the busyness of the holidays, it is important to take time to consider all of God's gifts for us.

Psalm 24:1-10

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on December 22, 2019

S.D.G.

19Dec

S7E12: Rejoice! Rejoice! (Songs of the Season pt. 3)

How many of us truly consider what our names really mean? When we were born, we were given a name by our parents, and throughout our lives that name becomes our identity, who we are. Some of us choose to change our names. In the Bible there are many cases where names were changed for people, because God gave them a new identity. Yet we are told that Jesus' name as prophesied by Isaiah was to be "Emmanuel," which means "God with us." He truly was The Word made flesh who dwelt among us. In today's hymn, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," we look at seven names of Christ from the Old Testament, and what it means that God is with us in the person of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 35:1-10

Recorded at Hudson UMC on December 15, 2019

S.D.G.

16Dec

S7E11: Path of Peace (Songs of the Season pt. 2)

As we continue our sermon series based upon familiar Christmas and Advent hymns, we look this week at a relatively newer (1973) hymn called "Blessed Be the God of Israel," the text of which is almost entirely based upon the song of praise that Zechariah sang over his son, John the Baptist, at his birth. We are also looking at the text from Isaiah which says that the mountain of the Lord in Jerusalem (Mount Moriah) will be higher than all other mountains on earth. Certainly this 2,400 ft. peak will not be physically higher than, say, Mount Everest (29,029 feet); but what Isaiah is speaking of is the importance of Jerusalem among all nations, and how it draws us all to its holy ground.

Isaiah 2:2-5

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on December 8, 2019

S.D.G.

11Dec

S7E10: Born to Deliver (Songs of the Season pt. 1)

We begin a new series for the season of Advent in 2019 by looking at some of the songs that have been written to glorify God at this time of year. Advent is the season of preparation for the celebration of Christ's coming, and also the anticipation for His return. We begin by looking at this text from Isaiah 40 against the backdrop of the Charles Wesley hymn, "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus," and discover how truly remarkable that Jesus was "born a child and yet a king."

Isaiah 40:1-5

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on December 1, 2019

S.D.G.

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