The Lighthouse Keeper

Greetings from Pastor Kerry, former pastor of Spring City UMC. This blog contains my sermon outlines and/or manuscripts from my pastorate among the people of Spring City PA, from 2006 to 2011. Pastor Dennis is now the lighthouse keeper. Come and worship on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Preparations

December 24, 2006
Fourth Sunday of Advent

from Micah 5:2-5a and Luke 1:39-45

"Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord
Luke 1:45

My sermon outline:

• We sang a hymn after the scripture reading, which is a little unusual, but the hymn is a musical continuation of the scripture reading, containing what would be Luke 1:46-55... Mary praises God after receiving this human affirmation of what the angel had told her earlier (that she would bear God's son, and that as a sign, her elderly relation Elizabeth would also bear a child)

• Proposal stories... well received because of the love and thought put into it

• But you don’t have to think about it too long to see that God takes the cake when it comes to preparing Christmas.

• Back to the Garden of Eden there are the beginning signs of God’s plan: Gen 3:15 the seed of a woman (that is, a human) will destroy you (Satan), and you’ll only wound him.

• Move along to Abraham (Genesis 12, all peoples on earth will be blessed through you) that promise carries on through Isaac and Jacob. (the fathers of the nation)

• God’s plan gets a little more specific in King David (1000 years before Jesus) (2 Samuel 7:13-14) I will raise a ruler out of your offspring, I will be his father he will be my son and I’ll establish his throne forever.

• All this is confirmed by Isaiah (700 years before Jesus) through whom God announces that from the family of Jesse (David’s father) will come salvation (the call to worship we sang last week was a response to this proclamation)

• Micah also confirms that it is through David’s line that the Messiah will come, and that Messiah (long awaited) will come from Bethlehem

• Isaiah also is the one who tells that the child known as God With Us will be born of a virgin

• These are some of the details God laid out in his preparation for Christmas

• And though there aren’t specific prophecies about this the setting was right for God’s messiah to be born: the Romans had established a massive infrastructure of roads and language that early Christians would be ready to utilize in the spread of the gospel

• So the time is right for God’s plan to unfold and Gabriel announces to Mary but not before another little detail is taken care of: the one who will come before Jesus will come before Jesus: Elizabeth in her old age will bear a child who will make ready the way for the Messiah. Not only that but when Mary gets word from Gabriel she gets a sign: that Elizabeth will be pregnant. She visits and lo and behold, Elizabeth is pregnant. And Elizabeth is able to assure Mary in a much needed way.

• I started out by telling about an elaborate proposal and how it was touching because of the preparation that went into it.

• God planned Christmas for you. For all the world. So that he could offer salvation and reconciliation to all people. He did it out of love as a gift for you.

• Receive God’s gift of love. And if you like it, share it with others.

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 87 in worship.


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