NextSunday Worship

Archive for December, 2013

  • January 26, 2014

    “Leaving to Follow”

    Year A – The Third Sunday after Epiphany

    In two decades of ministry, almost every time I have taught a Bible Study or preached a sermon from Matthew’s account of the calling of the disciples, someone has approached me wanting to talk about the immediacy of the response of the first four disciples. After all, as Matthew and Mark both tell it, Jesus […]

    Read More
  • January 19, 2014

    “Gathering a Church”

    Year A – The Second Sunday after Epiphany

    When the majestic prologue of the Fourth Gospel gives way to narrative, we find ourselves reading a carefully constructed account of the very first week of Jesus’ ministry. As Charles Talbert suggested in his commentary Reading John, John 1:19-2:12 focuses on nothing less than the creation of discipleship, as we watch the beginnings of Jesus’ […]

    Read More
  • January 12, 2014

    “Going Public”

    Year A – Epiphany: Baptism of the Lord Sunday

    From the very beginning, there has been an energetic conversation about Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan River. Why does Jesus need to be baptized at all? Why does he present himself? Why does he step out of the large crowds that came out to hear John preach in the region along that river […]

    Read More
  • January 5, 2014

    “Our Testimony”

    Year A – Second Sunday after Christmas Day

    Until now, every time I have approached the prologue of John’s Gospel with an eye toward preaching this magnificent text, I have sensed an almost irresistible temptation to try to preach the rich theology contained in these eighteen verses. After all, John 1:1-5 and John 1:14-18 have been indescribably influential on the formation of the […]

    Read More
  • December 29, 2013

    “The Threefold Significance of Christ’s Humanity”

    Year A – First Sunday after Christmas Day

    As Christians, we affirm the divinity of Jesus Christ.  Yet we often become so enthusiastic about his divinity that we diminish his humanity.  Jesus was God, yes, but God in the flesh, God in human form, God incarnate.  To deny Jesus’ divinity is to deny the incarnation.  But to deny Jesus’ humanity is also to […]

    Read More
  • December 25, 2013

    "Disturbed by Joy!"

    Year A - Nativity of the Lord

    “Tis the season to be jolly,” says the carol. With bells ringing and people singing, the music of Christmas creates a festive atmosphere inviting all to celebrate.  Behind stained glass in candle lit sanctuaries, choirs sing, “Rejoice, earth and heaven, rejoice. All angels, all saints of God’s heaven rejoice!”  Outside, it seems like the entire […]

    Read More
  • December 22, 2013


    Year A - Fourth Sunday of Advent

    Did you know that right now in Japan, there are Christmas lights up all over the place and signs that say “Merry Christmas?”  I find this intriguing because Japan is only about one percent Christian.  Their celebration of Christmas is mostly cultural and not for reasons of faith.   If we think about it, we can […]

    Read More