Advent Sermon: The Original Immanuel

the king is born - renewal

Yesterday, the second Sunday of Advent, I gave the message at Renewal Church Memphis. It was titled, “The Original Immanuel,” and was based in Isaiah 7. There were 3 points I put on our radar:

1) Immanuel in Isaiah’s day.

2) Immanuel in Christ.

3) Immanuel today and always.

Have a listen by clicking on the link below. Continue reading

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We Saw His Star

magi star

Today we welcome Advent. Today we welcome the church’s new year. It truly is a festive time to both contemplate and celebrate, reflect and rejoice.

Advent is centered in remembering the arrival of the Christ child, the Messiah, God’s unique son. While many will start in Matthew 1 as a way to introduce the Advent story, I am going to jump over into Matthew 2. It’s there we find the story of the magi and particularly their encounter with a unique element: a star.

Upon their arrival into Jerusalem, they ask a question: Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (vs2). Continue reading

How the Theologian Stole Christmas

Below is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Reflections of Immanuel, due out in Fall 2019 via Wipf & Stock Publishers.

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

~Dr. Seuss

It was Christmas morning. Jimmy was just coming around from the hard-night’s sleep he had encountered. He scanned the room with his half-open, sleepy-filled eyes and then glanced at the clock on the nightstand just next to his bed.

It was 7:08 in the morning. Continue reading