The Empire Strikes Back

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent

Welcome to the Second 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 the birth story.  This week is Herod. The scripture readings for the day are 1 Peter 4: 12-19 and Matthew 2: 13-18.

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

In this sermon Pastor Joe explores these ideas:

  • It is easy to block out all of the terrible things in the world when we turn on the TV and watch the classic holiday specials  – For some it starts with the Macey’s day parade on Thanksgiving and ends with the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s.  In between there are stories about helping others, awkward elves, and the unforgettable classic christmas pageant gone wrong.

  • But we also turn on the TV and hear about death and destruction.  We hear about another mass shooting in our country where the innocent are dying. 

  • So we have this one side of Christmas — the one of glad tidings, the one full of cheer and happiness — the one where the children are celebrating asking Santa for the popular holiday toy.

  • Then we have the other side of Christmas.  The one where we miss those who have died, the one where we see the continued violence in our country and around the world, the one where it may be a little hard to find the holiday cheer.

  • The reason that God decided to come into the world through Jesus is so we can have hope even when faced with tragedy, even when faced with death.  Nothing can stop God from loving God’s people. 

    Read the Sermon

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

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