A New Hope

Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent

Welcome to the First Sunday of Advent Year C.  This sermon was preached at Faith Lutheran Church in Gardner, MA.   During Advent this year Pastor Joe has been preaching the series Star Followers.  Each week he looks at a different person connected to Jesus’ birth story.  This week is Mary. The scripture readings for the day are Isaiah 7: 10-17 and Luke 1: 26-38.

Enjoy the latest episode of Livin’ on Grace with Pastor Joe McGarry.

In this sermon Pastor Joe explores these ideas:

  • During the season of Advent we will be exploring traditional Biblical advent themes along side Star Wars movies.  Now don’t worry, if you have not seen Star Wars, you won’t feel left out.  Perhaps you will be inspired to see the movies after the series is done.

  • The premise of the movie is simple — A young farm boy longs to leave home. He sets off on a quest to save a princess. He is aided by a wise old wizard, one of the last of his kind. He is also helped by a lovable rogue named Chewy, and an outlaw named Han Solo. He has to fight the darkest villain around. This young farm boy named Luke Skywalker is chosen for this mission because his old wizard friend – Obi one Knobie — has heard that the one is coming, the one who will bring balance back to the force. Obi one promises to show Luke the ways of the force — to prepare him for all that he needs to become a Jedi knight.

  • Mary and Joseph are charged with the care of Jesus, with showing Jesus the ways of God — they are preparing him for all that he needs to be the savior of the world.  This is their calling. 

  • This story does not happen the way we expect.  Jesus come into the world through an unwed, pregnant teenager who gave birth in a stable. Not the way we would expect from the savior of the world to come into the world.

  • But Gods love, promises, grace and favor is given to everyone.  It doesn’t matter who you are God tells each of us that we are special, that we all are loved, and forgiven.  God gives each of us a calling and gives us the ability to do extraordinary things in our lives that will change the world.  We know this is true because  we see the power, influence and effect one ordinary woman had on the world.  When God went to Mary — to tell her the news that She is going to give birth to a child — not just any child but to a child named Jesus who will be the king of kings -to the savior of the world.

    Read the Sermon

    You can download a complete, transcript of this sermon here.

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