Advent - Sheep/Shepherds (Matt) (Ryan)

Matt Hein (Sheep and Shepherds)
Sun, Nov 29 at LW; 
Wed, Dec 2 at SLAA; 
Wed, Dec 9 at St. Paul (note multiple service times and formats)

Ryan Peterson preach Sun, Dec 6 at ULC, (Sheep and Shepherds) 


My message will involve a story about my kids putting all sorts of things in the manger of our nativity set. The question will be, “Is it ok to put a lamb/sheep in the manger?” 

We’re invited to come and see the lamb in the manger and we end up finding ourselves as lambs led to Jesus. 

I imagine “I am Jesus’ little lamb” being a good song for family nativity celebration. 


Advent - Holy Couple (Dan) (Rob)

Dan Flynn (Holy Couple)
Sun, Dec 6 at SLAA; 
Sun, Dec 13 at St. Paul; 
Wed, Dec 16 at ULC: 
Sun, Dec 20 at LW; 

Rob Kasper preach Sun, Dec 20 at ULC, (Holy Couple)


Holy Couple (Dan)
Date: Advent, Dec. 6, 13, 20, Wed.: Dec. 16

Text: Matt. 1:18-24, Luke 1:26-38

Goal: Everyone comes from a family of some kind. The Holy Couple is Jesus’ family and he carries the story of the family he is born into when he comes to earth.

Textual Exposition: 
Our gospel lessons have two stories, one of Joseph and the other of Mary. Here we see God intervening into each life to unfold his story of salvation. For Joseph it is taking an honorable man and telling him to marry Mary. Take on the scandal. 

On the other side is Mary, young and anticipating marriage to Joseph, than, an angel appears and her life takes a dramatic change of course. 

Neither Luke nor Matthew share how Mary told Joseph but he was told. Matthew 1:19 tells us that Joseph is a righteous man. He is a man of character but so also is Mary. This whole story speaks to innocence. 

Theological Reflection: 
We have a godly design of a Holy Couple. Living in the back country town of Nazareth with a faith of innocence that simply trusts God. This couple is now being forced into something they never imagined and they have to figure out how to manage it.
  1. Joseph was going to divorce Mary.
  2. Mary was obedient but she has to tell her family. I think there was more going on for her visit to Elizabeth than simply a visit.
  3. Joseph has a dream and in his faithful integrity, he is obedient. 
  4. Mary and Joseph do get married and Joseph takes his wife to Bethlehem and the rest is history.
Hearer Depiction: 
This is our story as well. In fact, we all have family stories to share of who came from where and who did they marry and who are the kids. It is ancestry.com. We read Mary and Joseph’s story but we have our story as well.

Law/Gospel Proclamation: 
In the world of broken relationships where we see damage everywhere. In fact, brokenness becomes a norm and not abnormal. This brokenness skews what a good and healthy relationship actually looks like.

In the midst of this are the stories of Mary and Joseph. We see a glimpse of grace in this couples of journey. Life wasn’t easy. They had to go endure scandal in Nazareth, a census hike to Bethlehem, flee to Egypt and then a return to Nazareth. I think they simply wanted to settle down and raise their child. 

Other texts for study or reflection: 
Ruth 4:13-17, the family line of David
Eph. 4:1-6, We have our family line in Christ

Sermon Structure: 
  1. Tell a family story from my past or someone’s past. I’d like to show a picture of a past relative.
  2. Connect that God has called us to be in family and this is never easy.
  3. Story of Joseph and the story of Mary. Tell separately. Gabriel comes to Mary and what did that do in her family. Of course, we have Joseph, a righteous man. He has to consider his own life with Mary. An angel has to intervene. Joseph and Mary are the right people to do this right calling.
Scandal in Nazareth, a long walk to Bethlehem, fleeing to Egypt, return to Nazareth. It isn’t what they planned.

  1. Our story is filled with the same obstacles. Life doesn’t go as planned. In fact, life at times spins in directions you never intended. We get caught and the story of life as expected just doesn’t happen as we thought. Show Grandpa Flynn’s wife with five kids and ovarian cancer. See if I can find a couple picture of them.
  2. And this is the point. This Holy Couple we so elevate in manager scenes (show a couple from our German set) is more than nostalgia. This couple embraces the baby and raise the baby.
  3. And this baby, Jesus, changes everything. So, Paul later writes in Ephesians we have one faith, one baptism. We believers become one and we have our story together as Mary and Joseph have their story.

Other worship or preaching ideas:

For more on Sermon Structures, see: http://concordiatheology.org/sermon-structs/


Advent - Donkey (Aaron)

Aaron Roggow (Donkey)
Wed, Dec 2 at St. Paul (note multiple service times and formats); 
Wed, Dec 16 at SLAA


Texts – Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-11 

Title – “Humble and riding on a donkey”

Idea – The donkey in our nativity sets is usually standing off to the side, watching the scene, not really doing much. But many donkeys in the Bible, including this one, are active, carry important cargo, and help share what God’s doing through their work.

The message is still a work in progress in my head. 

Other references that I’m thinking of are Luke 2:4-7, Numbers 22 and Genesis 22:3.


Advent - Camel/Wisemen (John)

John Rathje (Camel and Wisemen)
Wed, Dec 9 at SLAA; 
Sun, Dec 13 at ULC; 
Wed, Dec 16 at St. Paul (not at 3:30P; only 7P)


I believe the direction I will go is the “journey” they all took and how Jesus changed their journey (and ours)! 


Advent - Borrowed Bed (Justin)

Justin Rossow (Borrowed Bed)
Sun, Nov 29 at St. Paul; 
Sun, Dec 6 at LW; 
Wed, Dec 9 at ULC: 
Sun, Dec 13 at SLAA; 


I like the basic flow of the sermon very much. I will go with the borrowed bed theme and connect manger—Jesus’ tomb—our coffin as beds that are used only temporarily.

Luke 2:7 will be the primary text.

If we want more readings, I suggest 
Luke 9:57-58
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

And / or Isaiah 53:1-9, especially verse 9

Maybe “What child is this” with the 'nails and spears' verse would work well.

I might end with the manger as humble place that welcomed Jesus, and connect it to us, though that might be cheesy … So something like “Welcome to Our World” might work.

Manger as temporary borrowed bed
Jesus' ministry as outsider without bed
Cross and tomb as temporary borrowed bed, not deserved
Our coffins as temporary borrowed beds
Out hearts as places that open in welcome to the One who would come and dwell there 

(a coffin is only a temporary residence for us because our hearts are for Jesus a permanent residence) 


Advent - Angels (Don)

Don Neuendorf (Angels)
Sun, Nov 29 at SLAA; 
Wed, Dec 2 at ULC; 
Sun, Dec 6 at St. Paul; 
Sun, Dec 13 at LW; 


I will use Acts 1:6-9 as my sermon text.

The title will be "An Angel Is a Person In Your Neighborhood"

Fred Rogers used to sing about the postman and the policeman as people you saw all around you every day. But we see angels too! Angels are simply messengers of God, and Jesus said that he would send out his followers as messengers to carry the good news to all the world. "Behold, I have glad tidings that will be for all the earth!"

I will probably also be making use of Malachi 3:1 and John 1:6-7. 


Advent 2015

Sharing preachers from SLAA, LW, ULC and St. Paul rotating on various Sundays and Wednesdays based around the theme of pieces/characters from a Nativity set. 

Attached you will find a preaching rotation that includes themes and location for Advent Sundays and Midweek services for St. Paul, Living Water, ULC, and St. Luke.

You are not producing sermon notes for other preachers, just for worship coordination. But we still need to know which readings you are preaching from and what your major connection point is.

The themes hold loosely together because they are all related to characters in a traditional nativity scene. Each piece has a theme that can remind us of Jesus and His mission and ministry. It is up to you to decide how you will use the piece of the nativity scene and to pick readings that support that theme; but our worship planners need to know what direction you are going.

So the manger is a borrowed bed that reminds me Jesus took my place. Or the manger is a feeding trough that reminds me Jesus is my spiritual food. Or the manger is a humble place that received Jesus which reminds me of how my heart receives Him. I can preach any of those, but should tell our worship team which one I have decided on. 

Notice, the dynamic of the sermon in this case is not an exegetical study of the word “manger;” Manger reminds me of X reminds me of Jesus. That basic dynamic is at the heart of the series. The donkey reminds me of X reminds me of Jesus. Up to you to decide on the X; but please share... 

To facilitate music selection etc I ask that those who are starting the series (Don:Angel, Matt:Sheep, Justin:Manger, Aaron:Donkey) get the basic texts and theme to us by Nov 5. The Holy Couple (Dan) and Camel (John) themes can come in Nov 12. 

Below I have organized dates and location by preacher and theme. 


Don Neuendorf (Angels): Sun, Nov 29 at SLAA; Sun, Dec 6 at St. Paul; Sun, Dec 13 at LW; Wed, Dec 2 at ULC

Dan Flynn (Holy Couple): Sun, Dec 6 at SLAA; Sun, Dec 13 at St. Paul; Sun, Dec 20 at LW; Wed, Dec 16 at ULC

Justin Rossow (Borrowed Bed): Sun, Nov 29 at St. Paul; Sun, Dec 6 at LW; Sun, Dec 13 at SLAA; Wed, Dec 9 at ULC

Matt Hein (Sheep and Shepherds): Sun, Nov 29 at LW; Wed, Dec 2 at SLAA; Wed, Dec 9 at St. Paul (note multiple service times and formats)

Aaron Roggow (Donkey): Wed, Dec 2 at St. Paul (note multiple service times and formats); Wed, Dec 16 at SLAA

John Rathje (Camel and Wisemen): Wed, Dec 9 at SLAA; Sun, Dec 13 at ULC; Wed, Dec 16 at St. Paul (not at 3:30P; only 7P)

Ryan Peterson preach Sun, Dec 6 at ULC, Sheep. 

Rob Kasper preach Sun, Dec 20 at ULC, Holy Couple. 


N.B. Weds @ St. Paul: 3:30 at School, object-oriented interactive; 7pm downtown, more traditional advent service 

N.B. Weds @ St. Luke: 6pm dinner, 7pm service, around tables with families, object oriented interactive


Sun, Nov 29 @ ULC: no preacher scheduled yet; will preach on Donkey