The Lighthouse Keeper

Greetings from Pastor Kerry, former pastor of Spring City UMC. This blog contains my sermon outlines and/or manuscripts from my pastorate among the people of Spring City PA, from 2006 to 2011. Pastor Dennis is now the lighthouse keeper. Come and worship on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

O Holy Night

December 24, 2009
Christmas Eve

My sermon outline:

O holy night, The stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of Our dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
Till He appeared And the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope, The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night divine, O night, O night divine!

This is a night unlike other nights. It is a night set aside. (holy)
For some, a night of love and joy and warmth that bubbles up from within, fills the soul with peace.
For some, it is a reminder of grief and loss, of stress and distress, the depths of depression.
It is a night that is awaited and anticipated...
And for some its advent is dreaded and despised.

It is my prayer, and I believe it is the gift of God, that those who walk in darkness tonight may grasp the light and hope of Christmas, for the gift of Christmas was given for those who were suffering, for those who are not sure if there is hope to cling to. In the gift of Christmas God says I am working light into your world, I am working salvation into your world... you are not alone, you are not cut off. Listen! Look! There is light and hope and love!

Psalm 98:1-2
Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.

That word salvation in Hebrew is yasha... just like yeshua, Jesus, God saves. Sing to the Lord, for he has worked Jesus... he has made Jesus known, he has made salvation known to all the nations through Jesus.
And we who have heard come and worship.

Led by the light of Faith Serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts By His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star Sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men From Orient land.

The King of Kings lay thus In lowly manger,
In all our trials Born to be our Friend!

He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger;
Behold your King! Before the lowly bend!
Behold your King! your King! Before Him bend.

Once upon a time I was a lifeguard. I was thinking about that word "save" and how it's applied in a lifeguard situation: the lifeguard jumps into the water, puts himself directly in the situation, takes hold of a person, is with them to bring them safely out. Get into situation, take hand, be with. That's what God did with Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us... got into the water to be with us and bring us safely out.
As God has done throughout the ages, God chooses to work through people to bring light and salvation to the world.

Truly He taught us To love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break For the slave is our brother
And in His name All oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in Grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us Praise His holy name!

Christ is the Lord, Oh praise His name forever,
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim
His pow'r and glory Evermore proclaim.

As we receive the gift of Christmas this year, let us evermore proclaim the glory of Christ the Lord – let us evermore and actively reach out as a beacon of hope, throughout the years, motivated and renewed by this night unlike other nights... this holy night.

• Solo: O Holy Night
"O Holy Night" is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens" by Placide Cappeau.

- Pastor Kerry

Tonight: 126 in worship.