Monday, 17 December 2012

3rd Advent - We are not Abandoned...

Sunday Sermon Review December 16, 2012
(from my home church I attend regularly )

3rd Advent - We are not Abandoned

Luke 2: 25-32
 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel

Thought for the week: Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly Merry Christmas!

The service began with the singing of several including the Christmas favorites  O Come, O Come Emmanuel and What Child is This as well as also the song  Jesus, Hope of the Nations. Personally I really like the song Jesus, Hope of the Nations.

There was a skit telling the story of Simeon ( same story as in the text ) Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die till he would first see the promised Messiah. So he was waiting and the baby Jesus is brought into the temple.

2 Corinthians 4:6-9 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Pastor Ben came up to preach and here is some of what he said:
It's Christmas - a time we remember the promises that God made. The promises fullfilled in Jesus.
God speaks. God keeps and fulfills his promises.
He is faithful.
Key Promise in Scripture is Genesis 12:2-3
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
This promise is made to Abraham. As Abraham gets older he wonders if God will be faithful and give him a son? We know that God did fullfill this promise and Isaac was born.
Abraham's name is great.
How are all families of the earth blessed? - Through Jesus - He is the blessing to us all.
Promise to David 2 Sammuel 7:16  And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
Will God be faithful tot his promise? Will God establish this King? - It is fulfilled in Jesus.
Some of the gospels begin with the geneolgy  of Jesus. He is a decendant of David.

Luke 2:29 - Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
God kept his promise to Simeon.

Jesus used the Old Testament to explain how God promised and He ( Jesus ) is the fullfillment of that promise.
Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
It keeps pointing us back to the promises , the prophecy.
This does not stop with the Bible. God's promises and prophecy are still being fullfilled today!
Matthew 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it
The global church continues to grow. We can see this prophecy being fullfilled today. There are 2 billion people who claim allegiance to Jesus today.
Only in Canada, the USA and Europe are the churches in decline. Everywhere else Christianity is expanding daily. God is faithful to His promises.

What relevance does this all have to me today?
Christmas highlights our brokeness.
It points out the disfunctions in our families.
It can be hard to see God's faithfulness in the midst of brokeness.
But God is faithful even in our brokeness.
We have sanitized Christmas.
It was not a perfect environment when Jesus was born. Mary gave birth to Jesus in the stable with the animals- not in a hospital with medical professionals present.
No one allowed Mary and Joseph into their house. No one would sacrifice their space for the Savior's birth.
God enters into places of brokeness.
We light the Advent candles as a symbol of how Jesus is the light of the world.
John1:4-5 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
We celebrate Christmas in December on the 25th. Jesus was most likely born in the fall of the year.
But it is fitting to celebrate in December when the nights get darker and longer. And Jesus is the Light of the World.
God is faithful. He has not abandoned us!
Emmanuel - God with us!
Remember the promises of God - He has not abandoned us!

Closing songs
Standing On This Mountain Top
Joy To The World

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