S-1400 3MIA/A 12/18/2013 Hymns: (O) #15; (S) #99; (C) #92
Texts: Psalm 31:14-20; Genesis 18:9-15; Galatians 4:1-7; Matthew 11:25-30
Theme: “The Advent Time!” (Galatians 4:4-5)
Question: “How do you fill your time?” Armour, SD 3rd in sermon series on: “The Three T’s of Advent”
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for our 3rd Midweek is from the Epistle lesson: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
Precious and beloved children of God time is a precious commodity. Yet, as precious as this gift from God is, our reaction to it never seems to be neutral. We either love it or hate it. We either think it is going too fast or too slow. There are moments when time seems to drag by like molasses in January and at other moments; it flies by like a supersonic jet plane! It seems we are never satisfied with time. But God ordained time to give us proper means by which we can rest, worship, work, study and play.
Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest geniuses and painters of the Middle Ages, would often just stand and stare for a long time at the canvas, before he would pick up his brush to paint a scene. He was waiting for the right time for the image to be formed in his mind before he transformed it on the canvas.
In a similar way, the Almighty God, the Author of Time, created in the same way. At just the right moment, our Lord spoke everything into existence. After our first parents corrupted that perfect creation, our Lord did not cease to work “at just the right time.” Staring at the timeline of history, our Lord chose just the right time to make and keep His promise to Adam and Eve and every one of their descendants. At just the right time, the Lord of Hosts fulfilled a promise originally made to a fallen couple who lived without hope and without a future.
The message of God through Paul is this. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”God was saying “It’s Advent Time! It’s time to remove the burden of the Law. It’s Time to carry out the plans God shared with father Abraham to bless all the nations of the world through his son. It’s Time to fulfill the promise of sending a Redeemer to buy humanity back. It was time to save mankind from sin, and death; and from the punishment of hell and the jaws of the devil.” PAUSE.
From the day God made the promise of long ago to send a REDEEMER, people in every age waited with great anticipation for God’s timing to be carried out. They waited for hope in their hopeless condition; they waited for help in their helpless state. And many thought that God had forgotten about them. Even, David the Psalter, whose heart was after God and put his trust in God alone, cried out saying: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, ‘I have prevailed over him,’ lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken” (Psalm 13:1-4).
People have cried for God to deliver them. Many thought He abandoned them. It may appear that way, however, Peter, the disciple’s spokesperson put it this way: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). God’s timing is not like our time. He doesn’t function by the clock but by love. As this is the case, is it any wonder that we struggle with God’s timing in our lives? Yet, we do find great comfort in the fact that at just the right time, God acted.
Therefore, when the clock of salvation struck noon, God in mercy sent His only begotten Son, to redeem, save, cheer, comfort and remove the burden of the law from their hearts. God’s love carried out this mission in a most unique and blessed way. He placed His eternal Son into a Virgin’s womb and dressed him with human cells, blood and skin. He did this so that His holy, innocent and perfect Heaven’s messenger could be under the law’s requirements and sin’s burdens. What sinful man couldn’t and wouldn’t do, God did in the sending of His Son to accomplish our redemption and salvation.
With His perfect life, the Babe of Bethlehem, the heaven-sent Savior—fulfilled every one of God’s commandments. With His innocent death, Jesus the Holy Lamb of God, paid for every sin of every human being. With His great love for you, Jesus the eternal God who came in time into our sin-infected and sin-infested world has covered our filthy lives with His holiness and purity.
Because Christ entered our world at the proper Advent Time, He shouts the shout of victory saying, I have completed the work God gave me to do. At the proper time Christ, liberated us from the burden of the law and all of its requirements. By His grace alone, He declares us holy and innocent to stand in the presence of God forever and ever as His sons and daughters. PAUSE.
But at times we don’t feel we are truly God’s children. We don’t feel that God even cares. We don’t trust that all of our sins have been forgiven. And just like David we cry out to God. O God how long before You look upon me—the sinner, help me, answer me and deliver me. O God, why not come to my aid and rescue me NOW!?
If you are one of those people who is asking this and other questions like it, then let the Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit speak to your hearts tonight. Hear him as he taught the Galatians and us saying, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law…” and know that the work of Christ on your behalf has been completed.
In the fullness of time, God entered our time for the sake of the world. This world, the cosmos, is the world apart from God, and that world was founded when Adam and Eve sinned. When sin entered into God’s creation, given God’s purpose for mankind to be made into His image, it was necessary that there be a method of reconciliation between man and God. This reconciliation was only possible through the perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross of Calvary for you and for me. PAUSE.
Children of the heavenly Father, on November 30, 1835, Mark Twain was born in Florida, Missouri. If you were to visit that little town, you will find in a park close to a two-room shack where he was born and a marker saying: “In this village Mark Twain was born. He cheered and comforted a tired world.”
Christ was born to do more than to bring cheer and comfort to a tired world. Christ in Advent Time brought about salvation, forgiveness of sins and life eternal. And because of His gracious work, we can know the joy of being comforted in God’s Christmas gift of His Son to a broken and sin-filled world. For in that perfect time we have a blessed consolation that knows no end because God sent a Redeemer to redeem me and give me hope in my hopelessness, help in my helplessness and peace forever in my sorrow. He does this on HIS time. That is why we call it HIS-story. The story of His time becoming our eternity!
Today, we give thanks to God for coming into our world, and someday, we will be going into His eternal world. In the name of our Advent King and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Now the peace of God…
SOLI DEO GLORIA