Summary: God blesses other people through you.

What if I was to tell you that because of you someone else will get

something great? Something wonderful! In someway they, because

of you, will be blessed? How would that make you feel? Would you

feel pretty good? Or pretty confused? Maybe you would ask yourself

"What could I ever do that someone else gets something wonderful?"

That's a pretty normal response. But these are not normal times are

they? Its Christmas time, the time of giving! Today, during this time,

it's easier to see that other people will get "blessed" because of you.

Gift giving is pretty big this time of year. And some gifts are given

unawares. You kids are nicer and "more good" this time of year,

aren't you? Because "Santa Claus is coming to town" and he knows

if you've been naughty or nice, or so the song tells us. So you behave

yourselves at home. But also at school because you know that your

teachers will probably tell your parents if you've been good or not!

And if you give that some thought, being good is a gift to your

parents and teachers. It's easier on them when you behave! They

have an easier time of it when they don't have to worry so much

about you getting into trouble. Of course that 's not the motivation to

be good, but the motivation doesn't seem to matter too much to your

parents and teachers during this season. And of course, this is not

the real meaning of Christmas. I mention that lest you think that I

am getting a little too cynical about this time of year. As we get

nearer to Christmas the focus from this pulpit will be more and more

on the true meaning of Christmas. But back to my original point.

People being blessed because of you.

This is not as such a strange thing in this day and age as you

might think. It fact, it’s a fundamental part of being a Christian.

This is the way God set up Christianity from the beginning.

Throughout Advent we're using the Old Testament lessons to get us

to Christmas. The lessons are from Isaiah, but Isaiah wasn't the first

to foretell of the coming Messiah, which we celebrate on December

25th. The promise goes back to a time before Isaiah. Isaiah knew of

them, however. The promises foretold through Isaiah are bound and

understood through these earlier promises. The promise I'm talking

about in this introduction is found in Genesis. It's one that the

people of Isaiah's day would be most familiar with. It is also a

promise that has everything to do with you, today.

The promise is this. God says to Abraham

"I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous

as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your

descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and

through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,

because you have obeyed me."

There are three aspects to this so-called Abrahamic promise. One:

many descendants. Two: Land. Three: through your offspring, all

nations will be blessed. This third aspect is the one I draw your

attention to. Because this, as it turns out, is a Messianic prophecy

that also involves you.

Ok, here is where you can get confused. It's ok to say, "Huh? It

involves me? How?" Well, here's how. As you know, Abraham had

only one child, Isaac. Yet, God kept his promise to him about

numerous descendants. As you will remember from Sunday School,

Abraham had only two grandsons. But one of them was Jacob who

went on to have 12 kids. An in the span of some 400 years, these 12

kids had many sons and daughters and grandchildren and great-

grandchildren until, when they left Egypt, they were rightly called a

nation! The Nation of Israel. That part of the promise to Abraham

came true. The second part of the promise came true soon after they

came to possess the Land of Canaan, which God gave to them. But

the part about all nations being blessed would only come true much

later. It wouldn't be until a Jewish child was born to parents who

were descendants of King David and ultimately, of Abraham, that

the third part of the promise would come true. And that is where you

come in. Jesus was the fulfillment of the third part of the Abrahamic

promise. Through Jesus, an offspring of Abraham, all nations are

blessed. Because it is through Jesus that all people of all nations can

receive forgiveness of sins, the ultimate blessing. And they find out

about this blessing because the people of God, Christians, YOU, tell

them about it. You've been told how to do this ever since there has

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