Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Month: December 2016

How It Used to Be – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church Christmas Day 2016

church-1704815_1280 Today’s Sermon – How it used to be

LESSONS:

First Lesson             Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm                        Psalm 98

Second Lesson        Hebrews 1:1-12

Gospel                      John 1:1-14

COLLECT: Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born this day of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

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Savoring the Season – Reflection for Christmas Day 2016

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The present are all opened. The family meal is relegated to leftovers. Even the beautiful tree looks a bit forlorn, now dry and brittle, ready to shed countless needles along the path to the door. The laughter fades and we trade the busyness of Christmas for the busyness of the new year and whatever it may bring.

Whether we celebrated the joy of family or mourned those who are not here this year, whether all our wishes came true or we lamented yet another set of unmet expectations, it is easy to get so caught up in the hype that we miss the baby lying in the manger.

“He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.” 

Indeed we run the risk of not recognizing the magnitude of Christ as Immanuel, “God with us.” In the Incarnation which we celebrate today, God came into the world to be with us in all things. In the physical poverty of the stable, the social poverty of a pregnancy outside of marriage, in the political poverty of foreign occupation, in the spiritual poverty of sin and brokenness, Jesus lived the suffering of our lives. In whatever struggles you face, what do you seek? Do you seek comfort? Numbness? Stoic endurance? Or do you seek to know Him who came to be in relationship with you?

“He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him”

When, like the shepherds coming to the stable, you do find Jesus in the unlikely, unpowerful, dirty and distressed places of your life, are you willing to accept Him for what He will do? Even if that is not what you would want? Are you willing to welcome God into your deepest hurts and disappointments? Are you willing to hear Him call you, “Beloved” and “Precious Child” even when you can find nothing lovable or precious in yourself or your circumstances?

In this season of Christmas and in the coming year, are you willing to take the prayerful moments to step outside of the busyness of life, in the midst of great joy or bitter disappointment, to savor the gift of the Incarnation, the God who is with us? Are you willing to know Him, accept Him, and in any circumstance proclaim:

 

“The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory”

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Trusting the Promise – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 18 DEC 2016

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Today’s Sermon: Trusting the Promise

 

LESSONS:

First Lesson           Isaiah 7:10-16

Psalm                      Psalm 80:1-7,16-18

Second Lesson      Romans 1:1-7

Gospel                    Matthew 1:18-25

 

COLLECT: Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Lights, Candles, Advent! – Reflection for 4th Sunday in Advent

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Lights and candles are festive at this time of the year, but sometimes we forget that in our faith we often use things to remind us of our Faith.  A visual representation of our Faith in action.

There is a message of encouragement for us in each of the Advent candles, something greater than how pretty the Advent wreath looks.

The first candle is the candle of HOPE.  For those facing physical and emotional struggles it reminds us we can have hope because God is faithful and keeps His promises.  Romans 15:12-13

The second candle is for PEACE.  For those who are fearful and distressed it reminds us of God’s promise a Savior is born, Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

The third is the candle of JOY.  For those who have experienced loss and despair it reminds us that we can know joy in the mist and midst of sadness with the good news of his coming.  Luke 2:10-11

The fourth is the candle of LOVE.  For all who desire to be cherished it reminds us that God loves us so much that he gave the greatest gift, his Son.  John 3:16

The fifth is the CHRIST candle.  Reminding us all that Christ is the light of the world.  His birth was for his death and his death was for our birth.  John 1:29

Christmas is the celebration of the coming of Christ.  As you reflect on this message may you know the HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE of Jesus.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!   What a gift!

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Merry Christmas!…?…! – Reflection for 11 Dec 2016

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I’m watching a Christmas program and thinking, “How do we know what it means to say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to another person?”   Are we saying that we are both sharing in the same story? Or are we saying we hope you have a bountiful holiday filled with overwhelming things? I hope we are able to see the new things that God is doing in our world and society. What a story we share!

Imagine a teenage girl agreeing to be with child and unwed 2000 years ago. She was either crazy or something great was going to happen. God acted and we stand with our mouths open. We are so loved by God and yet we walk around acting as though we are forgotten. I could not figure out why I would be quiet and sullen, and it’s simple, I am forgetting that I am loved by my Heavenly Father. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to die for my sins. This is why angels sing and Handel’s Messiah still has the power to make grown men weep. This isn’t about the glittering things of the world but about the greatest story of hope ever experienced by the world. Go on and bend down in your heart and on your knee giving thanks for being loved.

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What Did You Come to See? – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 3rd Sunday in Advent 2016

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Today’s Sermon – What Did You Come to See?

LESSONS:

First Lesson Isaiah 35:1-10

Psalm Luke 1:46-55

Second Lesson James 5:7-10

Gospel Matthew 11:2-11

COLLECT: Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

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