Sunday, December 27, 2015

Believing the Whole Story: SCS 65


Sunday, December 27, 2015, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 65


PRAYER for Today:
Father, we know You are able to heal the hearts and souls of all of us who are broken. We ask for Your will to be done and that we may act saintly towards our fellow sojourners who around the world are hurting so that they might see a little of You.  It is in His name we pray. Amen.


SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today: Luke 2 (KJV)
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


SERMON for Today:


Very educated folk may tell you that parts of this story are not true, but you need to wonder why they are so concerned with debunking the birth story?  Let me tell you the main reasons are not scholarship or truth.  The main reason people try to debunk parts of the story of the birth of Jesus is so they DO NOT HAVE TO DO WHAT HE SAYS.  They do not have to give up their favorite sins or love people they dislike or hate.


Jesus is real.  He is a historical fact not disputed by most scholars.  The wonderful thing is that if you are willing to follow Him you will find the peace in your soul that cannot be found any other way or in any other place.  It takes placing faith in the unknowable to find the unbelievable riches of the many colored rainbow.


I am not saying that following Jesus is an easy path to walk, but it is a rewarding journey.  Not just in the by and by, but in the now.  
   


May God Richly Bless Your Life This Week and For Evermore. Amen.


  
© Ed Cooper, December 27, 2015, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
  All rights reserved


(Ed Cooper is an ordained Elder and minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ which are a part of the Restoration Movement started in Appalachia in the early 1800’s.  Ed started preaching as a teenager in the village churches around Mashoko Mission, Zimbabwe, Africa when he was there with his parents in the early 1960’s. Ed recognizes he is a flawed sinner needing God’s grace and your prayers.)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

CHRISTMAS IS OVER: a poem by ed



Christmas is over
and I celebrated His birth.
The question I must answer
is what do I do now?
You must answer the same
question too.

He did not come
and walk around
just being nice
and doing miracles.
He left us with a command
which said, “Go Ye.”

Did He mean me?
Oh yes!
He meant you too.

Christmas is over
and it is time
to share Christ
with
those you love dearest
and those you hate the most.

© Ed Cooper, 12/26/ 2015, Stoney Creek, TN
  All rights reserved

Sunday, December 13, 2015

CONSIDER PRAYERFULLY YOUR RESPONSE TO ISAIAH 53: SCS 64


Sunday, December 13, 2015, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 64


PRAYER for Today:
Father, we know You are able to heal the hearts and souls of all of us who are broken. We ask for Your will to be done and that we may act saintly towards our fellow sojourners who around the world are hurting so that they might see a little of You.  It is in His name we pray. Amen.


SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today: Isaiah 53 King James Version (KJV)
53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

SERMON for Today:


Read this more than once this week and consider prayerfully how you and your family intend to celebrate the birth of the person who came in response to this Hebrew prophecy?
   


May God Richly Bless Your Life This Week and For Evermore. Amen.


  
© Ed Cooper, December 13, 2015, Stoney Creek, Tennessee

  All rights reserved

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

YOU CAN'T COME WHERE I MUST GO



You can’t come
where I must go
or even walk beside me
because the restorative journey
must be made alone
upon the desert waters
of the deep oceans
from which life comes
and to where it may return.


I know you love me
and fear this journey
this plunge into the deep,
but do not fear
for your sisters
the dolphins
will keep me safe
as I look for the self
most needed to live and function
on dry land
where wealth defines
both soul and self.

© Ed Cooper, 12/9/2015, Stoney Creek, Tn