Showing posts from December, 2013

Shared Joy, Shared Mercy

The Rev. Amy Hodges Morehous Christmas 1, Year A December 29, 2013
This morning, I'm going to ask you to think back to the anticipation you once had on Christmas morning. When you were a child, how hard was it to go to sleep the night before, hoping there was something wonderful waiting for you the next morning? My earliest childhood memories of Christmas are happy and warm. Some holidays my family could have a hard time with - Thanksgiving for instance. Thanksgiving, for some reason, always led to huge family conflict. However, usually by Christmas, everyone had made up, and we were looking forward to a happy day. My parents saved up to make birthdays and Christmas special for my sister and for me. We rarely got toys any other time, so in the weeks before Christmas we would be in a fever of anticipation. My sister and I had our own rooms at one end of the house, and my parents' bedroom was at the other end. Early one Christmas morning - very early, probably 4 or 5 a.m. - my siste…
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2013 Episcopal Church of the Ascension Why the shepherds and why the sheep? The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess
I. Introduction. While growing up in the northeast, every Christmas my family would make our annual pilgrimage to New York City. The highlight of this pilgrimage was to attend the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show. The finale was always the same: a slow, moving procession across the wide stage led by Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. The shepherds followed with sheep in tow. Next came the Three Kings with their exotic camels. As a child, I never asked myself the questions why are the shepherds featured in Luke’s Christmas story, and why are the three kings found in Matthew? Through the eyes of a child, both shepherds and kings were essential characters in the Christmas story. After all, they had been a part of every Christmas pageant I’d ever seen. As an adult, I have come to understand that deeper meanings could be found behind the …

Joseph and Ahaz, Different Understandings of Righteousness

The Rev. Robert P. Travis Advent 4th Sunday Sermon – 8:00am and 10:30am Church of the Ascension, Knoxville TN RCL Advent 4 Year A 12/22/2013  Scripture text: Isaiah 7:10-16, Psalm 80:1-7,16-18, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-25

Sermon Text: So my son Jack is three years old, almost four, so he's at the age when he's starting to ask some really good questions. Just the other day he asked me, "Daddy, does God kill all the bad guys?" Since I'm not a universalist, I could say with great certainty, “Yes, God kills all the bad guys forever.”
He said, "so I don't need to be scared right?" I said, "right Jack, you don't need to be scared, because God is bigger and stronger than all the bad guys."

The next question caught me off guard, "But can the bad guys kill us?" Whoa, that one kind of slowed me down for a second, but I said, honestly, "Yes, Jack, the bad guys can kill us, But if they do, we get to be with Jesus forever, so they really don't …