Summary: A sermon for the second Sunday of Advent. Love.
What would we have without Christmas??? (From sermoncentral.com)
• The candied fruit market would completely collapse!
• Our boring, uneventful lives would have no stress at all!
• Eggnog would just be a slimy, high cholesterol beverage.
• Santa would be a strange fat man with poor fashion sense!
• Three words— “No Christmas bonus!”
• We wouldn’t mindlessly sing “Hope Is Just Around the Corner” (Our Christmas play)
• You’d have to spend your own money buying stuff that doesn’t fit.
• We would never wonder if reindeer really know how to fly.
• Your cat would never know the joy of coughing up tinsel!
• Number one reason—without Christmas, there could be no Easter!
It is one of those sayings that drives you nuts but it is so very true… you don’t know what its like until you’ve tried it. And this goes doubly so for parenthood. Sure… I always knew that parents loved their kids, and I always knew that my parents loved me… but I never really knew just how much until we had William. Even now I know I am only at the start of this journey as a parent and my love for William will grow and grow. I would do anything for him.
Today, we lit the candle of Love, and while I was reflecting on the Christmas season and my message for today, the thing that kept coming back to me was the love of a parent. Specifically, God’s love for Jesus. We know that God loves Jesus because it is all throughout scripture, we know that God loves Jesus through God’s actions in Jesus’ life, we know that God loves Jesus… because he is a parent. It might have seemed odd that today during Advent, our scripture focused on Jesus’ baptism… but it is one of the most striking messages from God as a parent in the whole of scripture. I particularly like the way the NIV says it, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” I get that now as a parent. I understand the emotion tied up with those words. I can experience that moment in a small way as I look to William and say “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
But this is not the end of the message. The most often quoted scripture passage sheds a light on my message. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” This is what tugs at me. God loves Jesus much like I love William… yet he handed him over to death for you and for me. What a powerful message. Knowing how much God loves Jesus, knowing the price that was paid… think about what that means about God’s love for you and I, how great that love is. It is one thing to say, “God loves you.” It is another to see the babe in the manger, see him through a father’s eyes, and know that that is the sacrifice that has been made for you… in love, and then say, “God loves you.”
God loves you so much, he wants to give you the greatest gift he could possibly give. A famous story helps illustrate the point… a story of a small girl and set of fake pearls. (from sermon illustrator 6)
The cheerful girl with bouncy curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. “Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?”
Her mother checked the back of the little foil box and said, “Jenny, these
pearls only cost $1.95. If you really want them, I’ll think of some extra chores
for you to do and raise your allowance. It won’t take long for you to save
enough money to buy them yourself.”
Her mother was right. After only two weeks, Jenny had enough money saved for the
pearls. Her mother took her back to the store, where Jenny proudly counted out
her money to the cashier.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel pretty and grown up. She wore them
Everywhere: Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took
them off was when she went swimming or took a bubble bath. Her mother said that
if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny also had a very loving daddy. Every night when she was ready for bed, her
daddy would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story.
One night when he finished the story, he said to Jenny, “I love you,