Hosanna Sunday

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church on “Hosanna Sunday” taken from Luke 19:28-44

Hidden Talents

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Hidden Talents,” taken from Luke 19:11-27

Zacchaeus : Out on a Limb for Jesus

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Zacchaeus : Out on a Limb for Jesus” taken from Luke 19:1-10

Lessons from the Magi

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Lessons from the Magi,” taken from Matthew 2:1-12.  Epiphany Sunday

Anna’s Christmas

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Anna’s Christmas,” taken from Luke 2:36-38.

Simeon’s Christmas

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Simeon’s Christmas,” taken from Luke 2:25-35

Knowing God as IMMANUEL

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church at it’s Christmas Eve Service in a message entitled, “Knowing God as IMMANUEL” taken from Isaiah 7:14

Knowing God as PRINCE OF PEACE

Pastor Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church a message entitled, “Knowing God as PRINCE OF PEACE” taken from Isaiah 9:6

Knowing God as EVERLASTING FATHER

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Knowing God as EVERLASTING FATHER,” taken from Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas…

This year the town of Medina got new Christmas lights throughout town and we had a special time as the whole town got together to sing Christmas carols and bring in the Christmas season with the lighting of the Christmas tree.

During Christmas you see lights and it’s a beautiful analogy of the Jesus… the Light of the World… coming to us.

For the last couple of weeks we have been looking at Isaiah 9:6…

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  – Isaiah 9:6

A couple of verses before that Isaiah speaks about LIGHT…

“The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great LIGHT; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.” – Isaiah 9:2

In the New Testament, Matthew echoes Isaiah and point to Jesus as the fulfillment of that prophecy (Matthew 4:13-16), but he changes it a little bit.  Isaiah writes that, “The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great Light,” but Matthew writes, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.”

The idea is that that the times were so DARK that rather than trying to walk through the darkness and risk stumbling, people just gave up trying to walk through it at all. They just stopped and sat down.  It was a  picture of hopelessness.

At that particular time the world sat in darkness politically.  Rome ruled the world and merciless and brutal.  The world was also in darkness economically as Rome taxed everyone excessively.

… But I think the worst type of darkness was the spiritual darkness.  In between the Old Testament and the New Testament there was a 400 year period in which God was silent and there was no prophet in the land.  400 years!

It was dark… and then BAM –  there was LIGHT!   The Bible says that “The LIGHT has come into the world, but that men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

It’s still the same today.  People will put up Christmas lights and even sing Christmas carols.  They love the baby Jesus, but they don’t want anything to do the adult Jesus who came to lead people out of darkness and into the light.

In the comedy, “Talladega Nights,” Ricky Bobby played by Will Ferrell is this goofy mixed up NASCAR Drive and when he leads the family in grace at the dinner table he prays to Baby Jesus,  “Dear Lord Baby Jesus, lying there in your…your little ghost manger, lookin’ at your Baby Einstein developmental…videos, learnin’ ’bout shapes and colors…” and when his father-in-law reminds him that Jesus grew up to be a man… Ricky Bobby’s answer was, “I prefer the Baby Jesus,” which is what a lot of people today do.

Baby Jesus

Some of you might feel like you’re sitting in darkness.   This Christmas I want to challenge you to step out of the shadows into the light of who Jesus is and walk in the light as He is in the light.  (1 John 1:7).  Allow Him to set your hearts on fire.

… and after catching fire for Him, my prayer is that you will let His light shine before you like never before this Christmas.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Bill