Sermon: “Blasphemous Rumors”

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“Blasphemous Rumors”
Isaiah 7:10-16 and Matthew 1:18-25
Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 22, 2013
First Christian Church
Mahtomedi, MN

I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours
But I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor
And when I die I expect to find Him laughing

-Blasphemous Rumors, Depeche Mode, 1984

Those are the lyrics of a song called “Blasphemous Rumors” by the British New Wave band Depeche Mode. It’s an interesting song, because it takes on the topic of suffering and where faith intersects. In the song, we hear of a young girl trying to commit suicide, failing at first and then succeeding and another girl who became a committed Christian only to end up in a accident that left her on life support until the decision was made to turn the machine off.

There was a time in my life when I didn’t like this song because it seemed to denounce God for not stopping the evil that overtook these two women. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to see how this song is a song of complaint and questioning. Why does evil exist in this world? How can a good God allow such bad things to happen?

Saturday was the Winter Solstice, the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the day in the year with the shortest amount of daylight. A number of churches are starting to do services around that day that are little less festive than the rest of the season. The service goes by different names: Blue Christmas, Longest Night, Service of Light and so on. I’ve done a Blue Christmas service at First Christian in Minneapolis in 2011 and 2012 and I hope to do one here next year. The point of the service is to help those who might be facing a Christmas without a loved one, or are facing a job loss or anything that could keep you from celebrating during the holidays. These services provide a space for grief and sadness amidst the joy. It helps people remember that God has not forgotten them. Continue reading “Sermon: “Blasphemous Rumors””

Sermon: “What Are You Dreaming Of?”

A sermon from 2004 preached on the third Sunday of Advent. “What are you Dreaming Of?” Luke 1:47-55, Matthew 11:2-11 December 12, 2004 Community of Grace Christian Church St. Paul, Minnesota I don’t know, but I sometimes wonder if we start to dread this time of year more as we get older. It’s the little things that start to bother me about all the hype surrounding Christmas. For instance, on my way to work every morning, I pass by the Marshall Fields store in downtown Minneapolis. They have several Christmas window displays all centered around the theme, “What are you … Continue reading Sermon: “What Are You Dreaming Of?”