advent, hope, judgment, hell

My sermon from this past Sunday. I have in many ways followed the interpretation laid out by James Kay, and have quoted him directly toward the end of this sermon. See his article at: http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=677

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In the Gospel of Luke we find the words “good news” on lips of many.

The angel Gabriel says to Zechariah, who would become the Father of John the Baptist: “I have been sent to bring you good news.”

An angel appears to the shepherds out in the field and says: “Behold I bring you good news of great joy.

Later on in Luke’s gospel, we will find Jesus in the synagogue, quoting from Isaiah the prophet: “The Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.”

Good news.  These words are everywhere in Luke’s Gospel – they are at the centre of Luke’s history of Jesus and the early church.

In our passage for today – the narrative of John the Baptist – Luke again gives us this language of good news. At the conclusion of this passage in chapter 3, Luke says: “So, with many other exhortations John proclaimed the good news to the people.” Continue reading

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the big questions…

Bell goes after some of the big questions – they are big in terms of the identity of the God we worship, and big in terms of articulating a faithful and compelling account of Jesus’ way as it is given to us in the gospels and in the other writings of the New Testament.