Summary: This is the first sermon in a 4 sermon series designed for Christmas.
12/2/01 - The Great Evil that Brought a Greater Joy
Christmas can be a tough time of year.
Text: Matthew 2:16: The Christmas story brought great sorrow to at least one group of people. The mothers of the little boy babies that were killed were filled with an intolerable pain. Yet, in spite of this terrible evil God was able to let it happen so that a greater joy could be know by the entire world. God hates the sin and pain it has caused in this world so much that he gave up everything to find a way back for us.
Evil is very real
We have recently come face to face with it
The evil was so blatant, the destruction so great and the loss was so personal that we can barely refer to it directily.
Instead we now use a new phrase to describe it – “The events of Sept. 11”
Unfortunately Evil is not new
It just isn’t usually so visible to so many at one time.
But there are always some people who face evil every day
Every day Evil and the suffering it brings cross the threshold of some person’s home. When that day comes it is as dramatic and the sun becoming dark and the moon turning to blood. The earth shakes and the stars dim. Laughter ceases and the minutes become as heavy as lead weights. The shoulders slump, the head bows, and the heart implodes with the pressure of grief.
Every day Evil walks through someone’s front door, their back door, their office, their school room, their shop, sometimes it simply walks into their neighborhood.
Monday - November 19 about 06:00 PM most of us were home having supper when evil stepped into a New York Neighborhood
Balloons Soar and Tears Fall
By CELESTE KATZ
Anguished relatives of Romel Jenkins released balloons to the sky yesterday even as they prepared to commit the 5-year-old’s body to the earth.
An errant bullet fired during a gunfight on a Bronx streetcorner killed the child, who bled to death as his mother cradled him and pleaded with God to spare his life.
A King gives a command and every boy toddler 2 years and under is put to the sword
Matthew 2:16 is part of the Christmas Story
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
It is a part of the story that is not always remembered.
Maybe cause it is such a difficult part of the story to understand; to explain; to face.
I mean, Who can explain it?
How do you go to those mothers and tell them why this had to happen to their boy babies. Who can help these young women understand how God can make some good come of this?
Who can explain any evil act?
There is no answer to question cried out in pain and suffering “WHY?”…
But there is an answerer… His name is Jesus
He suffered the loss that comes from evil
Job received no answer… but he saw God and that was sufficient
There is no answer to much of the pain and suffering in our world… but when you see Jesus you will find the answer
The angels sang on the hillside
Peace on Earth – Good will toward Men
Jesus is the message of hope. He is the answer. It’s not a bunch of meanly mouth words – He is the word.
It’s not a philosophical argument: it’s a person. It’s THE person
The answer to suffering cannot just be an abstract idea, because this isn’t an abstract issue; it’s a personal issue. It requires a personal response. The answer must be some one, not just something, because the issue involves someone – God Where are you?
Jesus is there, sitting beside us in the lowest places of our lives.”
“Are we broken? He was broken, like bread, for us. Are we despised? He was despised and rejected of men. Do we cry out that we can’t take any more? He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Do people betray us? He was sold out himself. Are our tenderest relationships broken? He too loved and was rejected. Do people turn from us? They hid their faces from him as a leper.