Summary: The Jews had been waiting for centuries for the Messiah to come. And who is he? The angel tells us that he is nothing less than the Lord! So from the very beginning of his earthly life it’s made clear that Jesus is the Lord.
Last weekend Pam and I, along with Moises Mendez, were in Chile. We went with leaders from a church Summit planted in Santa Rosa, CA, called Living Roots, Grace Church on the west side of town, Reno Christian Fellowship on the south side of town and Sparks Christian Fellowship…right here in Sparks. This was a vision trip.
Our goal was to encourage these churches to help us advance the cause of Christ in Chile by cooperating in mission projects. This trip is an outgrowth of some special personal relationships. For the past ten years I have met for lunch every month with Dan Frank from Grace, Brent Brooks from RCF and Scott Parker from SCF. We’ve become close friends and prayer partners.
Now, it looks like our friendship will be a catalyst for mission work in Chile. This represents a new level of cooperation for our churches! We’re also planning a mission trip next November and I think all of the churches will have people going with us. We’ll have more information about that after the first of the year.
I know some of you prayed for us while we were in Chile…and I want to say thanks! I also want to thank Jim McMorran and Summit’s Global Outreach Team for believing this was a worthwhile effort. One of the most exciting results is that we also hope that Grace, SCF and RCF will help us to lead a region wide serving day next year. So we hope the growing cooperation among our churches will not only be in Chile…but also right here in the Truckee Meadows. Isn’t that amazing!!!
Now, I’d like you to watch this creative rendition of the Christmas carol “Away in a Manger.”
“Away in a Manger” was first published in a Lutheran Sunday School curriculum in 1885. Now, there’s a lot of controversy about who wrote the lyrics. Some think the carol was written by Martin Luther, one of leaders of the Great Reformation. But after careful research now most scholars don’t think that was the case. So there’s a bit of a mystery regarding who actually wrote it. But there is no mystery at all that the carol touches hearts around the globe every holiday season.
Now, there’s a phrase that’s used in the song that I want to focus on today. It’s repeated in every stanza.
Away in manger no crib for his bed…
…the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky look down where he lay…
…the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing the poor baby wakes…
…the little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
So over and an over again we see this repeated phrase referring to the Lord Jesus. And today rather than focusing on Jesus as a newborn baby lying in a manger, I want to focus on what it means for Jesus to actually be the Lord Jesus. Did you know that 740 times in the New Testament Jesus is referred to as Lord? Do you know what this means? It means that Jesus is Lord! That’s one of the most repeated statements in the entire New Testament! Would you say that out loud with me? (Repeat)
We see this in the first announcement about Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:8-12. I’d like for you to turn there in your Bible or on your mobile device. This is a familiar passage about the birth of Jesus…and from the moment of his birth the angel wants us to know that Jesus is no ordinary child….even in the manger Jesus is the Lord Jesus!
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
The Jews had been waiting for centuries for the Messiah to come. And who is he? Well the angel tells us that he is nothing less than the Lord! So from the very beginning of his earthly life it’s made clear that Jesus is the Lord.
So, the question I want to deal with today is what does this mean for us? If Jesus is Lord what does that mean in everyday life? If we’re married, what does it mean for Jesus to be the Lord in our marriage? If we’re dating, what does it mean? If we’re finishing finals, what does it mean for Jesus to be Lord in our finals? If we’re buying Christmas presents, what does it mean for Jesus to be Lord?