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Second Sunday after Christmas  (a)

Second Sunday after Christmas

 


 

 

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Sermon Excerpt #1:

Close to the Father’s Heart, John 1:1-18
Rev. Randy Quinn

Yohann Anderson is a musician I met several years ago at a worship workshop. He was trying to help churches create contemporary worship services, and since we had one at our church, we thought he might have some good ideas for us.

There were several things he shared with us that we were already doing – and lots of other things that I no longer remember. But what I do remember was some of his theory about congregational singing. I think I remember it because it was so different than what I had been taught and because it also made so much sense to me.

Yohann began by telling us how a tuning fork works. You tap on the tines of the fork, and they begin to vibrate. (I found one and will demonstrate.) The size of the tines determines how fast they vibrate, but what actually happens is that the air around them begins to pulsate at the same speed. That pulsating resonates with our ear drums and our brains interpret it as a sound.

Lots of things work the same way – sometimes at pitches so high and so low that we cannot hear them. It’s why the philosopher-scientists asked the theoretical question of whether or not a tree falling in the woods makes a sound if there is no one there to hear it. The sound itself is only pulsating air. Without an ear to interpret the pulses, there is no evidence of a sound.

A piano tuner uses a tuning fork to tune the strings in a piano. He or she tightens or loosens the strings until they vibrate at the same speed as the tuning fork.

That much I knew. And many of you do, too...
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Sermon Excerpt #2:

The Meaning of Life, Eccl 1:1-11, Mt. 5:1-6
Rev. Frank Schaefer

 
So, today is the first day of the new year, which causes many to reflect on the meaning of life. As I was preparing the message, I thought of the works of Douglas Adams entitled: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In one of his books he describes a futuristic scene in which a supercomputer is given the question of finding an answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything. After 7.5 million years of calculating the computer is ready to spit out the answer. Watch this little clip to find out...

[click here to watch /download clip]

So, according to this science fiction, 42 is the answer to the question of everything, which in binary (the language of the computer) is 101010. It’s obviously a spoof answer that is making a point about the complexity and difficulty of the question. However, when I googled 101010 I was surprised to see how many “prophets” out there are taking this answer seriously enough to try to come up with interpretations of what it could mean.

Read Ecclesiastes 1: 1-11 (The Message)

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever....
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