Summary: A very short sermon given at our Advent Carols service attended by lots of visitors. God’s message service to the world is through creation, through the Bible, and through people, but primarily in the person and message of Jesus. PowerPoint also available
(Send me a message via Sermon Central if you would like to see the PowerPoint presentation that went with this short sermon. It contains the 3 photos referred to in the talk, and helps it to be visual and awe-inspiring!)
If you are going to send a message to somebody, how do you get the message to them? If you’re not sure whether the message has got through, what do you do next? If the message you are sending is the most important message you could ever send will that make a difference to how you send it? If you have good news for someone - good news that is also a matter of life and death - how will you send your message? If your message is not just for one person but for all 40,000 people living in this town, what kind of message service will you use? If your message is for every person on the planet - past, present and future; how will you send it?
As we approach 2010 we have more choices than ever if we have a message to send. Facebook, twitter, Skype, texting, instant messaging, e-mail and blogging, and not forgetting letters, phone calls and my favourite - face-to-face conversations.
God’s message service to the world is primarily through the message and the person of Jesus, but I believe that God is speaking all the time; and if we will just stop and open up our ears, hearts and our lives we can hear God’s voice.
God speaks through the wonder of creation, through the message of the Bible, through his son Jesus Christ, and God speaks to us through other people.
These words from the Bible were familiar to Jesus (Psalm 19: 1-4): ’The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.’
A year ago on 1 December 2008 the sky ‘smiled’! Venus, Jupiter and a crescent moon ‘smiled’. (PowerPoint Photo 1 - also available on the www)
Another favourite of mine is a photograph of three birds also forming a fantastic smile (PowerPoint photo 2); but my favourite has to be the photograph taken by the Hubble telescope (PowerPoint photo 3, but also available on the www). It shows a nebula, and although NASA have never given it this name, admirers of the photo have called it ’the eye of God’. Of course, it is not really the eye of God, but it is a reminder that ’the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.’ The beauty and variety of creation is all part of God’s message service to the world.
In recent years I have come to a personal opinion that if I have an important message for someone then the best way to deliver that message is in person, face-to-face. God had an incredibly important message for the world - a message to say that he loves us and that he has a plan to rescue us from the mess we sometimes make of our lives, and the mess we make of the world. God delivered that message in person.
The coming of Jesus into the world was God’s main message service, and although the church does not always get it right - for which I am sorry - God has entrusted that message to the church.
God’s message to you is that he loves you, he cares for you, he has a plan for you, and he wants you to know him today, tomorrow, as we prepare for Christmas, and all the days of your life.