Today is the second Sunday of Advent, the second of four Sundays when Christians are called to prepare for the advent, the coming of God, in Christ in the babe of Bethlehem. This preparatory Advent season ends on December 25, the beginning of the 12 days of Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus.
September 2, 1990
It is quite appropriate this first Sunday of a new school year to include the word "strange" in my sermon title, especially for new students. You have come here to a strange country or a strange state, a strange college, dorm, fellow students, classes, subjects, all somewhat strange in the dictionary sense of "not before known or heard or seen."
It is not difficult to trace the roots of Edward A. Steiner's pacifism. Born into a Jewish family in the Slovakia area of Austria, Edward "grew up in a staunchly anti-militaristic family and lost both his father and an older brother in wars of the Austro-Hungarian Empire." After receiving his doctorate from the University of Heidelberg where he nurtured convictions against both nationalism and war and now fearful that he might be conscripted into the Austrian imperial army, the twenty-year old Steiner immigrated to America in 1886.