Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent 4

Lord, fill our hearts with Your love, and as You revealed to us by an angel the coming of Your Son as a man, so lead us through His suffering and death to the glory of His resurrection, for He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

When Mary visited Elizabeth she is called by her cousin blessed as the child inside of her leapt for joy as the sound of Mary’s voice. Ever see football players leap for joy at the time of a touchdown? Ever see a child jump up and down at the sight of the gift of a new puppy? How many of us are leaping for joy that the Christ-child is coming this Christmas? Elizabeth’s unborn child, John the Baptizer, leaped for joy in her womb when Mary with the unborn Jesus entered the room.

How many are leaping for joy this Christmas season? Many are not. Luke reminds us that the unborn child John the Baptist leapt for joy when Mary entered the room.

On this last Sunday in Advent, we are on the threshold of Christmas, a time of joyous celebration. Are we happy at Christmas for the right reasons? Are we happy because of gifts, family and friends gathering together, parties, vacation from school? True Christmas joy is based upon two realities.

1. Trust Christmas joy is found in who is being born:
A. Christ the Lord.
1. He is the eternal God.
2. Who created all things.
3. He is Lord of all.
B. The Lord whom we have offended.
1. As the all knowing and all seeing God He know our faults.
2. Our crimes our sins committed against Him in thoughts, words, and deeds rise up against us.

Transition: What shall we do? We can’t deny our sinfulness. We can’t ignore them. We can’t deny them. Instead we plead for mercy as we run into His welcome arms and welcome Him the Advent/Christmas season. This is where true joy is found as we consider.

2. What He is going to accomplish: “A Savior who is Christ the Lord”
A. He came to die in our stead
B. He came to take our punishment.
C. He came to be our Savior.

Some folks these days find it difficult to get into the holiday mood. They want to but the joy simply is not there. It is easy to be overwhelmed with life. For us our joy is found not in how we feel but on what God has objectively done for us. Christ has come to enter our world. He has come to bear our sin and be our Savior. Because He has visited His people we receive life in His name. It is for this reason that you can celebrated and find true peace and joy.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

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