Sermons by “Rev. John R. Larson”

Arise! Shine!

He has come to you.  Instead of captivity; we experience freedom.  Instead of violence and an unsettled life; we possess peace.  Instead of devastation; we have fullness and joy. Isaiah is the Messianic  Prophet, always pointing people to Jesus. In Jesus God has revealed Himself to us.  In Jesus, we who could just sit there in dust and shame, are told to rise. God’s light has come upon us.

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A World Without Christmas

Living in a world with Christmas tells us that God has a heart of love toward us. She was eighteen and he was nineteen when they met. They fell in love, and one year later they were married. Some six years and three children later, she decided, while standing before the kitchen sink with a pile of dirty dishes and a pail of dirty diapers on the floor, that she just couldn’t stand it any more. She took off her apron and just walked out the door. Sometimes she would call home to check on the children, and on those occasions he would tell her how much he loved her, and he would ask her to come home. But each time she refused.

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Common…And Not

He isn’t common.  You can’t talk about someone with words like: Savior; Christ; Lord and say that that person is just like us.  Savior – a rescuer. Do you remember the name that Joseph was told to call this little child? “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:21)

He is called the Christ which is the same as the Messiah, or the Anointed One.  God had promised throughout the Old Testament that He would send a deliverer, one who would come to rescue people from sin and death, He would come to bring a true and lasting peace in soul and even forever.  This then was the moment!! But get this – The Savior, the Messiah is also the Lord – Adonai, the name of God used in the Old Testament. I know that when the Shepherds saw the angel they were terrified. I wonder if they were even more terrified when they were told who He was and what He would do.  They would go to see God’s answer for the world. Common…and not.

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The Road No One Wants to Travel

Sometimes good people only have bad options.  And Joseph, for all the right reasons, is about to do the wrong thing.  That is, until God intervenes. “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and says, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’” (Matthew 1:20-21) He then is told that this child will be called, “Immanuel”, which means “God with us”.

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