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Archive for December, 2010

Sermon by Seminarian David Reber – 12/26/2010

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Discussion of the Pericope for the first Sunday after Christmas by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 12/26/2010

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Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 12/25/2010

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Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 12/24/2010

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6, KJV).

This evening humanity is once again celebrating one of the greatest miracles in human history.

Because on this night some two thousand years ago the infinite Creator of heaven and earth… chose to take on the finite form of a human being.

Why did God choose to take on human flesh?

Ever since Adam and Eve turned their backs on the Creator, all of their descendants, including you and me, have been spiritually separated from God. As Scripture tells us in Ps 51,

Behold, we were brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did our mothers conceive us. This means that from our conception on, we humans are separated from God. In fact, it takes a second event—a supernatural one—for us to become spiritually alive and right with God.

In this evening’s Old Testament lesson, the prophet Isaiah confirms our sorrow state of affairs, stating that we are a people walking in darkness, living in the land of the shadow of death. But from before the beginning of time God had a plan to deliver us from death and the devil.

You see, by becoming incarnate in the manger of Bethlehem He personally came down to earth to repair our broken relationship with Him and thus deliver us from bondage.

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Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 12/19/2010

The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among you, from your brothers- it is to Him you shall listen” (Deu 18:15).

What is a prophet?

The dictionary defines a prophet as “a person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed.”

Armed with advance information from the Triune God, prophets in the Bible know when certain events are supposed to occur, while the rest of humanity must grope around in the dark—not knowing and forced to wait for those occurrences will happen.

There were many false prophets in the 19th and 20th centuries.

They claimed special knowledge from God to predict various supernatural events, none of which ever occurred when they were supposed to.

For instance, some of these false prophets predicted the return of Christ in 1982 or 1993, or in 2000.

That they fell flat on their face with their predictions is, of course, obvious because Jesus Himself says that it is not for us to know when He will return.

Other false prophets predicted that the New Jerusalem—that is, heaven—would be built in western Missouri or that the lost tribes of Israel would be found in the United States.

Still others predicted that the world would end in the Battle of Armageddon in 1914, or that all Christians would be raptured in 1981.

Despite the many false prophecies regarding the return of Christ, the creation of the New Jerusalem, or the location of the lost tribes of Israel—you and I still continue to wait for things to occur according to God’s perfect timing.

In our Old Testament reading, Moses is telling the people of Israel that the Lord would someday raise up a Prophet just like Moses himself—and that God’s people should listen to this prophet

Was Moses qualified to call himself a prophet?

Yes, because the Holy Spirit—the third person of the Trinity—gave Moses that title.

Furthermore, Moses’ prophesies came true—a litmus test for a true prophet.

For instance, with advance information from God Himself, Moses prophesied the ten plagues against the Egyptians and all of them came to pass.

Moses also promised that the Lord would lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, which came to pass as well.

Yet perhaps the most important statement of Moses is his Messianic prophecy in our text.

Because God did raise up that Prophet.

But from Moses’ point of view, God’s people would have to wait a long, long time before that Prophet would come on the scene—all in God’s good time. What a fitting message for this last Sunday in Advent, as you and I continue to wait for the First Coming of the Messiah in the manger of Bethlehem and for His return at the Last Day.

If seems that if there is anything you and I have lost in today’s culture is the ability to wait.

Because in this day and age, it seems everything has to be instant. We shop online because we can’t stand waiting in traffic jams or at the cash register. Many of us cannot even wait for water to boil in a tea pot or in the coffee maker, so we just microwave a cup of water and throw in some brown powder for a cup of coffee. As a society, we expect immediate results for our requests and wishes. Instant gratification has become a standard requirement.

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Discussion of the Advent 4 Pericope by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 12/19/2010

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Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 12/12/2010

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God… Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed.”

At the beginning of this service we heard the beautiful and very familiar words of Isaiah, Chapter 40.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, this passage was written by the prophet over 2,700 years ago.
And in the 18th century, George Friedrich Handel put these words to music in his world-famous oratorio, “Messiah.”
Truth be told, “Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people” has nothing to do with coming over for a cup of tea, as a certain seven-year old recently suggested.
Rather, what the prophet Isaiah means in this passage is this:
For centuries the southern kingdom of Judah had been unfaithful to the Lord by worshipping idols.
As punishment, God would send them into exile in a distant land, Babylon, at a certain point in the future.
Most of them would die there, especially those who were adults at the beginning of the exile.
But for their children there would be comfort.
Instead of permanent exile, their time of “hard service” would be cut short and the young people would be allowed to return to Judah after seventy years.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned.”

In fact, by telling them that they would receive “double for all their sins” God is indicating that Judah would experience double comfort, even though they had done nothing to deserve this grace.
This would occur in the distant future, when the promised Messiah would come to the aid of His people.
They would receive comfort—even though initially they would have to experience affliction.
***

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