Monday, December 14, 2015

“Jesus Came For Me” Matthew 1:18-25

S-1524 2MWIA/3C 12/09/15Hymns: #338; #357; #348
Texts: Psalm 67; Exodus 3:7-12; Acts 1:6-11; Matthew 1:18-25
Theme: Jesus Came For Me Matthew 1:18-25
Question: “Has anyone done something special for you?” (13th sermon at Trinity).  

Fellow travelers on our journey to eternity, in the name of the Babe of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ, a blessed Advent to you; The text is a portion of the Gospel lesson. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.  But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins,” (Matthew 1:18-21).

In Nomine Iesu 
God’s beautiful and Advent people, the movie “The Day after Tomorrow” is a touching story, of a drama, emotions and destruction all due to a “superstorm” that is setting off catastrophic natural disasters throughout the world. A world-renowned paleoclimatologist Prof. Jack Hall, played by Dennis Quaid, warns of the impending disaster that is about to take place. Many people around the world ignore the warnings. His teenage son goes to New York City from Washington D.C. for an academic competition. While his son is in New York, the natural disasters on a global scale strike the Earth, the planet plummets into an ice age virtually in one day and many people are caught unaware and die by freezing to death. While the son is trapped in New York, Jack and his crew must travel by foot from Philadelphia, braving the elements, risking his own life to get to Sam before it is too late.  Out of his great love for his son, the father doesn’t stop until he reaches his son and rescues him from the impending disaster.

The Advent message for all of us this evening is to know that God’s gracious love moved Him to come to rescue me—the sinner. We see this soon after the Fall of man in the Garden. God came to them while hiding to deliver them from the impending death. We see His hand’s of mercy extended to rescue the Israelites from the bondage of slavery by sending Moses to be His mouthpiece. Walk through the corridors of Holy Scripture and you will see God’s blue print in sending one prophet after another to care and deliver His people from the spiritual enemies—the devil, the world and our sinful flesh.

The Gospel chosen for this evening is a reminder that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be born   in the flesh for me. He didn’t send Him only for the world (2 Corinthians 5:19), but for me. God cared enough to send His Holy, innocent and ONLY Son to earth to take upon Him flesh and blood to be like us. He loved me enough to spare nothing to deliver and save me from death, hell     the eternal punishment. Yes, and so also for you too who thinks of yourself so highly.

 The message of the Angel to Mary is God intervening in the lives of those who are broken and bleeding because of sin and doing EVERYTHING to rescue, restore and redeem mankind from the curse of sin and the power of the grave and the bite of Satan. PAUSE.

Beautiful and precious God’s Advent people, this evening we reflect on the coming of the Babe of Bethlehem, His perfect life, His unimaginable suffering at the hands of His enemies who nailed Him to the cross and put Him to death; and was raised to life again on the third day states clearly that you and I needed saving. And we are so thankful for what Dr. Luther once said: “Is it NOT wonderful news to believe that salvation lies outside of ourselves.” And indeed it is! Salvation is NOT found in the glittery gifts under the Christmas tree, or still to be purchased from a store. NO! It is God’s gift to humanity—me—the sinner; of His only Son.

The coming of the Babe of Bethlehem in the flesh is the story of our redemption. As we have been brought to this house of prayer called Trinity, this evening, we are reminded again and again of God’s enormous love for us sinners in sending His Son for me.

Jesus came for me. If I was the only person in the world, Jesus would have come to rescue, restore and redeem me. Thanks be to God for Advent that shows me what real love looks like—a great and glorious sacrifice that cost this Child of Mary to die for me. In the manger, outside of us we see love par excellence. God’s love is manifested in a gift that is freely given. This is the love of God that comes into our hearts and we cherish. On His shoulders we see the price paid. In His blood we see the cleansing agent of our sins, and by His resurrection on the third day, we know God the Father accepted the price paid by His Only Son for me—the sinner so that I might become His Son forever and ever. NEVER to be separated from His gracious and pierced hands. PAUSE
Beautiful and precious God’s Advent people, the movie “The Day after Tomorrow” is a Hollywood fiction story. It is the story of a father who does everything humanely possible to save his son.

As we reflect and meditate on the Gospel of St. Matthew we see not a made up story, but true and living pageant.  In this story we see our loving Father, God, who sent His Son Jesus to Earth to save us from the coldness of sin and apathy and unbelief. God would stop at no lengths for us. He traveled much further than from Washington D.C partly by SUV and the rest of the way on foot. God traveled from Heaven to Earth for us! He would travel that lonely road up to Golgotha, all for you, beloved! So complete is His love for us. His love is so powerful it breaks the bad climate of sin in our lives and it melts icy hearts with the warmth of the Gospel. Great is God’s love for us.

This is the great and glorious “love that the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1).  By the grace of God you and I are the recipients of this undeserved love and through this love we know that Jesus came for me.

Tonight, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we say thank you Jesus for coming for me, blessing me and giving me heaven. Amen and Amen.

Now the peace…

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