Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sun. Dec. 28, 2008 (Kevin Hiebert)

Due to the snow closure, Kevin Hiebert gave a "virtual sermon" by sending out the text of his talk (see link below). He reminded us that the 12 Days of Christmas only STARTS on Christmas Day, and that what we receive as gifts are often different than our expectations. He started by talking about the lectionary text from Psalm 148 in which all of God’s Creation is called to praise him. Kevin quoted Paul H. Seely's explanation of the Hebrew word raqia which is translated as “heavens”, “expanse”, “firmament” or “dome” -- NOT the same words as what’s used for the breathable atmosphere. There is a lot of debate about what the “waters above the dome” are, but the idea of a massive heavenly ocean held back by a transparent dam would nicely explain the source of rainfall to those not familiar with the evaporation/condensation cycle, and fully explain the blue colour of the sky during the day. Then Kevin moved on to Luke 2 verses 25-38, the story of two prophets: Simeon and Anna. Simeon was looking forward to the consolation of Israel and Anna was looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. God promised Simeon that he would see the saviour of both Jews & Gentiles before he died. Kevin provided a dramatic re-telling of the story of Anna and Simeon by Ralph Milton. He also quoted Fred Craddock: "Jesus will bring truth to light and in so doing throw all who come in contact with him into a crisis of decision. In that decision, rising and falling, life and death, result. Jesus precipitates the centrally important movement of one's life, toward or away from God." Some controversy was raised when Kevin asked what would happen if we saw each person as having role in the fulfilment of God's promises. [KJH] Read the full text of Kevin Hiebert's sermon from 12/28/08.



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