Publicat de: damianion | decembrie 11, 2012

Mesaje de advent, www.sermons.com

Advent 3
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You Must Get Past John

 

William Willimon, Chaplain at Duke University, says that John the Baptist reminds us of boundaries we must respect and gates we must pass through. At Duke, Willimon reminds the students, „If you are going to graduate, you must first get past the English Department. If you are going to practice law, you must pass the bar. If you want to get to medical school you must survive Organic Chemistry.” Likewise, „If you want to get to the joy of Bethlehem in the presence of Jesus, you must get past John the Baptist in the desert.” The word from John is „repent,” which means „about-face” or turning 180 degrees.

 

Richard A. Wing, Deep Joy for a Shallow World, CSS Publishing Company

 

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Seeing God

 

There is a story going around about a man who wanted to see and hear God. So he went out to a hilltop and yelled and pleaded with God. „Speak to me!” And a bird sang. And disappointed he again begged God to speak to him and all he heard was the sound of children playing in the distance. „Please God, touch me!” he cried and the wind blew across his cheek. And discouraged at not having his plea answered the man prayed, „God, show yourself to me!” And a butterfly flew across his path. And when he got home, convinced that God had forsaken him, his daughter ran out to greet him, but he felt abandoned by God.

 

Now hearing a story like this, it is easy to see God. But in this story this man was as certain about what it means to see and hear God as we are about the end of the stories we heard today.
Sally Sedgwick
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Time to Act

 

Once the eminent philosopher John Dewey found his son in the bathroom. The floor was flooded and he was mopping furiously trying to contain the water in that room, keeping the damage to a minimum. The professor began thinking, trying to understand the deeper ramifications of the situation. After a few moments, the son said, „Dad, this is not the time to philosophize. It is time to mop!”
Baptism is our statement that we are ready to stop philosophizing and ready to start mopping. Zig Ziglar reminds us that the largest locomotive in the world can be held in its tracks while standing still simply by placing a single one-inch block of wood in front of each of the eight drive wheels. The same locomotive moving at 100 miles per hour can crash through a wall of steel reinforced concrete five feet thick, but it must be moving first.

 

King Duncan, Collected Sermons, www.sermons.com

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The Wayward Bus

 

In John Steinbeck’s story „The Wayward Bus” a dilapidated old bus takes a cross country shortcut on its journey to Los Angeles, and gets stuck in the mud. While the drivers go for assistance, the passengers take refuge in a cave. It is a curious company of people and it is obvious that the author is attempting to get across the point that these people are lost spiritually as well as literally. As they enter into this cave, the author calls the reader’s attention to the fact that as they enter they must pass a word that has been scrawled with paint over the entrance. The word is repent. Although Steinbeck calls that to the reader’s attention it is interesting that none of the passengers pay any attention to it whatsoever.
All too often this is our story. Yet, John the Baptist calls upon us to take our sinning seriously. Why? Because God does? Repentance is not just changing our minds, or feeling sorry for something that we have done, or even making bold resolves that we will never participate in certain conduct again. Instead, repentance means to turn around and go in another direction. What John the Baptist wanted his audience to hear was: Turn your life toward this one called Messiah. This is not negative or down-faced. Rather, it breaks the chains of oppression and death that hold us back.

 

Repent Your Way to a Merry Christmas, Brett Blair and Staff

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Preparation

 

A few years ago as the world watched the beginning game of the World Series in San Francisco there was suddenly an interruption of the opening interview. The screen blinked and went blank. When the program resumed: A Special News Bulletin. The San Francisco metropolitan area had experienced a serious earthquake. We all watched the live pictures as the huge fire in the Marina area burned. A remote camera crew was there and we saw the firemen fighting the fires. The scene I remember the most, however, was a group of people standing around just looking at the destruction and looking at the fire. All of a sudden a cop came up to the crowd and yelled out to them: What are you people doing just standing there. You must get prepared immediately. Go home and fill your bathtubs up with water. Be prepared to live without city services for 72 hours. The sun will set in another hour and your time is running out. Go hence and get prepared.

A long, long time ago a man came on the scene by the name of John the Baptist. John’s message was not told in soft monotones, but rather there was an urgent screaming in his voice. „Why are you not getting ready?” he yelled to the Hebrews. Why are you just standing there. Don’t you see that your time is running out on you. You need to be preparing the way. Making the path straight. Go and get ready.

 

That message may sound very strange to our modern ears, but the simple truth is that is Jesus were standing here in the flesh this morning and we asked him to give a list of the preachers who were most instrumental upon him, he would have listed the name of John the Baptist. There is just simply no question about that. There was no single human being who was more influential upon the life and career of Jesus than John.

 

Staff, www.eSermons.com.

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Christian Hope Had Changed His Life

 

Some years ago a military airplane crashed at Sonderstrom Air Force Base in Greenland. Twenty-two people were killed. The runway and the nearby fields were strewn with bodies. It was a tragic and horrible moment. There was only one chaplain on the base at the time… and the entire burden was laid on him to bring comfort and the Word of Christ to a shocked community staggered by the horrendous accident. But there was little time to mourn that day. The grisly task of gathering up and identifying the bodies needed to be done.

 

And so, the chaplain, along with a young lieutenant who had been assigned the duties of a mortuary officer and a group of volunteers went about the awful business of picking up the mutilated bodies and trying to identify the dead, so that their families and loved ones back home could be notified. It was a heart-breaking and exhausting task, but it had to be done. The people worked in shocked silence well into the night until they almost dropped from fatigue. When every last remnant of death had been picked up, they each went silently to their individual rooms.

 

That night, after midnight, there was a knock on the chaplain’s door. Outside stood the young lieutenant, the Mortuary Officer. He said nothing. He just stood there and wept. After some moments, the young lieutenant spoke through his tears and he said to the chaplain, „As we were picking up the bodies today, I realized something. I realized that the only other people out there with us were the people who go to church here. I have always been an unbeliever, and I used to ridicule these same people who were out there with us. Yet they are the only persons who would, or perhaps could, do what we had to do today. It must have been their Christian spirit that could help them see beyond the horror to the hope.”

 

That tragic day turned around the life of that young lieutenant. As he had admitted, he had never been religious, had seldom gone to church except for weddings and funerals, but from that time on he was a new man. Christ was born in his heart. From that time forward, he took an active part in the Christian ministry of that base. Then he did an unheard thing – he extended his tour of duty in Greenland for an extra year. He was the first person in the history of that base to do that. He did it because he wanted to be able to tell others the story of how the power of the Christian Hope had changed his life.

 

If you want to give your loved ones a great Christmas present this year, give them the gift of Christian Hope. On page after page of the New Testament we find it: the Good News that God will win, that nothing can defeat Him; that ultimately God and goodness will have the victory and that when we put our hope in Him, nothing, not even death, can separate us from His watch care and His love and His triumph. Once each year, Christmas comes along to renew our hope and to remind us that the darkness of this world cannot overcome the light of the world.

 

James W. Moore, ChristianGlobe Sermons

 

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Blessed Are They Who Find Christmas…

 

Blessed are they who find Christmas in the age-old story of a babe born in Bethlehem. To them a little child will always mean hope and promise to a troubled world.
Blessed are they who find Christmas in the Christmas star. Their lives may ever reflect its beauty and light.
Blessed are they who find Christmas in the joy of giving lovingly to others. They shall share the gladness and joy of the shepherds and wise men of old.
Blessed are they who find Christmas in the fragrant greens, the cheerful holly and soft flicker of candles. To them shall come bright memories of love and happiness…

 

The rest of this illustration, as well as many additional illustrations and sermons for this week, Advent and Christmas can be accessed at www.Sermons.com.

 

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