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Teaching Tips: Luke 3.1-20

In the past year we've had a great reminder of the role of teachers.  Teachers have adapted and adjusted and they've done more than they even thought the had within them.  We all can find ourselves in a teaching role sometimes.  John the Baptist was a teacher.  If you can teach where John taught you can teach anywhere!  John gives a new meaning to remote learning.  Today we learn how John did his teaching and what it means for us.  Some of you are Sunday School teachers; some of you are career teachers.  All of us are in a teaching role sometimes.  We can imagine John with a big beard as he introduces Jesus.  John's teaching tips for us are crucial. Hear from God.  We need to know what we have to say.                2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.  We remember Zechariah, a priest.  John is his son.  We remember when John was in Elizabeth's womb that he leaps when Mary comes to
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God’s Plan for My Children: Luke 2.27-35

  As we think about moms today it's interesting to know that a mother's brain structure changes when they give birth. The brain changes to make mothers more emotional and more sensitive towards their children.  God has made us to adapt as needed.  Moms think about what their children need.  You probably already did this today, you've planned ahead.  On a bigger scale you think about the future.  Imagine what level of responsibility Mary feels!  What do you do with this child from God?  Luke 2 is Mary's story, what Mary did to be sure Jesus is able to do what the Father wants Him to do.  This is true for mothers today too. Follow God’s plan.  When we think about being a mom we might be afraid we are going to mess up our kids.  Dads wonder if they've physically hurt or injured their child, but moms worry about the emotional scars of their children.  There are some things we know to do.  Mary does what she knows to do in this passage.                          27 An

Be Like Jesus: Luke 2.41-52

Today we are in the only place in the Bible where we learn what Jesus was like as a child.  We know lots about Jesus' birth, but we have little about Jesus as a child.  We learn a lot in a few verses in this passage.   Have you ever wondered what your parents were like as children?  Children, ask your parents what their favorite toy was as a child.  It's helpful to know what was formed in us as children.  Jesus and his family took a trip to the Temple in Jerusalem and Jesus stays behind after his family left to return to Nazareth.  God's goal is to make us more like Jesus.  What can God do in my life?  God begins this in our early stages in life.  Jesus and his family worshipped together. Worship together.  Jesus and his family had a habit of worshipping together.                         41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.  42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom.   Notice key words here in these

Created for Worship: Luke 1.39-45 (ESV)

We need to be connected to God.  Let's think for a moment about what it means to be in the presence of God.   Merry Christmas!  If you say Merry Christmas in April you better have a backstory, right?!  Today we read a backstory in Mary's life when she was carrying Jesus in the womb.  Why do we celebrate Christmas in December?  It's probably because there was a Roman holiday in December so the early church chose to celebrate Christmas on December 25.  Jesus was probably born in the springtime because the shepherds were in the fields at night and they wouldn't have been in the fields in the wintertime.  It's cold in the winter there just like it is here.  Here in Luke 1 we have the backstory.  We have all these announcements: Mary will give birth to the Messiah.  We don't know all that happened but we know God came for us.  God gave guidance and the people carried it out.  We don't know what happens in between when God speaks to someone and then they carry out

Certainty in Uncertain Times: Luke 1.1-4

Luke is writing to a people who are asking a lot of good questions.  Last Sunday we learned about taking a look for ourselves and sorting out for ourselves what happened.  Luke writes in a way that invites anyone form any background to explore what's happened.  Can we trust what we are looking at?  We can take a closer look at Jesus.  The Bible tells us who God is.  How can we trust the Bible?  Luke begins here and his audience does not have a Jewish background.  We can relate to this in a lot of ways because we have uncertainty every day.  How do you know what you know?  There's questions and uncertainty.  Yesterday I was faced with a dilemma, with uncertainty.  I was faced with a new flavor of ice cream.  I know what I like and it was available.  Do I stay with what I like or do I try something new?  How do I know if I should try a new flavor or not?  If you're wrestling with whether or not to believe all of this and you have questions, Luke addresses this.  How do I know

Family: Luke 24.1-12 (ESV)

        Happy Easter!   Easter gives us hope, not hope in general but a hope that we have overcome in Christ.  Easter is a fun time when we get together with family and friends.  We have egg hunts and it's fun to get together.  Today we step into a moment in Luke 24.  We've been looking at the people who were at the cross gathered around the crucifixion.  Those who gathered knew Jesus best.  It's nice to be around people who know us best.  They know you have holes in your socks and it's ok.  Some of the people gathered were family members.  It's surprising how they responded to the events of the cross.  We know all that happened already because we have read the story.  Luke is writing this passage to believers but he is also writing to the skeptics.  When we think about the passage our minds and we go directly to resurrection but what's written to the skeptics might speak to you today.  Those at the tomb were trying to sort things out in their minds.  This is a

Joe: Luke 23.50-55 (ESV)

I was reminded this past week of a thought.  I grew up in a very conservative church.  My first sermon was red faced screaming hell, fire and brimstone.  There was a lingering sense that God is mad at us.  This past week I was reminded of a simple truth: the wrath of God was satisfied because Jesus took the wrath of the Father upon Himself and we are justified.  It's true.  Jesus absorbed that wrath and we are not set apart for the wrath of God.  This is hard to grasp if you grew up like I did.  There's a release to know Jesus came for us.  This is Holy Week.  Jesus took our place and that means  a lot for our spiritual well-being. Today we focus on Joseph of Arimathea (Joe) in Luke 23:50-55.  We're going to take a closer look at Joe, who showed up.  Looking at Joe has changed my perspective.  We tend to naturally gravitate towards bad things but there's some really bright spots around the cross.  Have you ever gotten some help unexpectedly?  I was at a store trying to