Sermon for Dec. 29, 2013

First Sunday of Christmas- Year A

Each year, on this Sunday, the first Sunday of Christmas, the texts for the day are chosen from the stories of Jesus’ childhood that we have recorded in the Bible. There aren’t many. We only have a handful of stories before Jesus begins his ministry as an adult. One year we read the story of Anna and Simeon in the temple bringing their blessings to the tiny messiah and those beautiful words, “Now Lord, you let your servant go in peace”. One year we read the story of Jesus reading in the temple while his parents search for him frantically.

And this year, we read Matthew’s version of Jesus’ childhood. This story is called by two names “The Flight into Egypt” and “The Massacre of the Innocents”. The two names reflect the two parallel events- two distinct sides of the story. One side is the safety for the holy family as they flee into refuge in Egypt. The other side is the true and horrid fact that many families did not have the same opportunity to escape the wrath of Herod. Wrath that was caused by hearing that a new king- albeit a very different kind of king, an infant Messiah- was on the scene in Israel.

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Christmas Eve Sermon 2013

So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. Luke 2: 16-18

I think sometimes we like to picture Christmas as a moment frozen in time.   Like our beautiful carved nativity scene that never changes, we imagine the Christmas night to be a perfect, unmoving scene.  Jesus as a tiny baby, nestled in the swaddling clothes, tucked into the manger bed, no crying he makes.  Mary looks on serenely, Joseph hums a lullaby, all the shepherds bring their praise with their heads quietly bowed.  Still.  Peaceful.  Calm.

Do you know what I mean?  Let me give a few examples of “frozen Christmas moments”

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Christmas L.A.F.F. Luncheon 2012

We had a full house at Jane Griffith’s for our Christmas L.A.F.F. Luncheon on Wednesday December 19th. We enjoyed a feast of good food, sang Christmas songs and played Christmas Bingo. Everyone was a winner that day.

Children’s Christmas Program

On Sunday December 16th, St. Luke’s children gave their performance of “It wouldn’t be Christmas without…” Following their show and the worship service we all gathered around for hot cocoa, cookies and good fellowship.

Christmas Caroling

A merry group of St Luke Carolers headed out to bring cheer to the Amerisist house and to the house of one of our members. Estelle accompanied the wonderful singing on the dobro and Mary Frances kept us on-key on piano. We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Spiritual Care Support Ministries Tree Lighting

Spiritual Care Support Ministries Invites the Community to Celebrate Christmas with SCSM and a Tree-Lighting Ceremony

Warrenton, Va. – November 21 — Spiritual Care Support Ministries (SCSM) invites the community to join in a joyful Christmas celebration on Sunday, December 2 from 3 to 5 pm to honor personal heroes and the memory of loved ones. There will be inspiration, light refreshments, a time of remembering loved ones, special music by Lisa Coles and Rev. Robert Reynolds, and the reading of the Christmas Story by Chaplain Liz Danielsen. Rev. John Kuvakas from Warrenton Bible Fellowship, Rev. Jeff Light from Novum Baptist Church, and Pastor Bob Grant of the Fathers Way Church in Manassas will be participating in the service. Santa will be visiting and you may take pictures of your child with him. The event will be held at the Warrenton Community Center, 430 East Shirley Avenue, Warrenton, Virginia.

Christmas Message from Presiding Bishop Hanson

Bishop Mark Hanson has shared an uplifting and encouraging Christmas message with Lutheran congregations all over the country.

We are a church that believes Jesus is God’s “Yes” to us. Our lives can be a “Yes” to others.  Click below to view the video on the ELCA website.

Chrismas Message 2011