Commentaries Written by Scott Hoezee

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Psalm 96 Sermon Commentary

Christmas Day A

Perhaps it counts as something of an irony that the Lectionary calls on us to reflect on Psalm 96 on Christmas Day.  After all, if ever there were a day in the church year when we do not want to do what Psalm 96:1 says—namely, sing to the Lord a new song—this day is it! …

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Isaiah 9:2-7 Sermon Commentary

Christmas Day A

The first and last titles that we read in Isaiah 9:6 remind us that in God’s Messiah, we find someone who embodies both wisdom and strength.  And as with John’s description of the Word of God being full of both grace and truth, so also with wisdom and strength: we all know people who have…

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Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 Sermon Commentary

Advent 4A

Comments, Observations, and Questions A week before Christmas this year, the Lectionary via Psalm 80 takes us out of any setting we might ordinarily associate with the holidays and settles us instead into a very bleak landscape.  There can be no missing in Psalm 80—despite the Lectionary’s attempted leap-frog over the starker verses in the…

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Isaiah 7:10-16 Sermon Commentary

Advent 4A

Comments, Observations, and Questions As an inspired apostle and evangelist, Matthew may make any biblical connection he wishes and no one else can call him or question him on it.  He can unearth any nugget he wants from anywhere across the Hebrew Scriptures and if, having dug it out, Matthew then claims this verse was…

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Isaiah 35:1-10 Sermon Commentary

Advent 3A

Sometimes as a preacher you are pretty sure that the best idea you could have would be simply to read the passage and then sit down.  Or just read it again.  And sit down.  But for goodness sake, don’t start to let your own pedestrian reflections clog up a passage so full of wonder! That’s…

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Luke 1:46b-55 Sermon Commentary

Advent 3A

The Year A Lectionary presents two options on this week’s Psalm.  One option is what I will reflect on here from Luke 1.  The other is a portion of Psalm 146.  I am not writing on that psalm as this entire psalm was the Lectionary psalm just a couple of months ago.  If you wish…

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Isaiah 11:1-10 Sermon Commentary

Advent 2A

For all its lyric beauty and familiarity, Isaiah 11 is both striking and odd.  It’s striking because of the far-reaching results that we see sketched here on account of God’s sending forth a truly righteous ruler from the stump of Jesse.  It’s odd because it moves so nimbly between what you’d expect to be the…

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Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 Sermon Commentary

Advent 2A

At 98 years of age, Jimmy Carter is now not only the oldest currently living former President of the United States but he has now lived to become the oldest former President ever.  Strikingly, he has also been a former President for over 40 years.  During those four decades of time, Carter’s reputation has soared…

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Isaiah 2:1-5 Sermon Commentary

Advent 1A

Over time many people, including most certainly many church people, have come to view Advent (and certainly Christmas) as a time when we need to do our level best to keep at bay any and all thoughts about sad things.  Hence, a death in the congregation anywhere near Christmas just feels worse somehow than how…

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Psalm 122 Sermon Commentary

Advent 1A

Psalm 122 is one of fifteen psalms extending from Psalms 120-134, each of which is labeled “A Song of Ascents.” The sense of that title is that these were pilgrimage songs sung by Israelites as they ascended up to Jerusalem. Not surprisingly, therefore, the terms “Jerusalem,” “Zion,” and “house of Yahweh” occur with great density…

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