Summary: sermon on the annunciation
Have you heard the news?
News – we have news channels all over the T.V. – CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN, NEWS8. We have papers galore – The Times, The Post, The Messenger and the Journal, the National Enquirer. You can even get news updates on your pager or your cell phone. And you know what? The largest majority of it isn’t good. And when it is good it isn’t significant, nor is it of any lasting value.
But all that information never really changes our lives. We don’t do anything with it because we are either too lazy or we know that in a few days it will all change anyway and CNN will let us know when it does. Truth is, we want to hear the good news, but only if there is bad news to go with it. And given a choice between good news and bad news, we’ll take the bad news every time.
Broadcaster, Paul Harvey’s own network once tried broadcasting a program devoted solely to good news. The program survived 13 weeks. Evidently, the good news people say they want is news they just won’t buy. But one breaking news story has never changed. In 2001 years it has remained real and relevant. It was so important an announcement that there has only been one other announcement similar that has ever superseded it.
This announcement – the one that Mary would hear and that Joseph would dream had in it all the good, all the promise that God had ever given. This news worthy event could NOT be moved to the middle section and given a spot surrounded by advertisements… This news was front page, masthead, red-letter, history making news.
This is the news – HE IS COMING! A child, A ruler, A righteous judge, The Alpha and Omega, Yeshua, The Savior, The Bright and Morning star, The Blessed Hope, The Bread of Life, The Living Water, The Redeemer, Our Shield and Defender, The Good Shepherd.
Or, as the Angel of the Lord put it, “A Savior, Christ the Lord.”
This is good news, news that empowers us to a ministry and discipleship that remembers why Jesus came to earth: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among men.”
This announcement contains the promise fulfilled and three distinct yet magnificent truths…
Its Not just news worthy – but Truly Worthy – Because -
This child is the SON of MAN - fully human.
This announcement was not about MARY or JOSEPH.
Why would this be important? For if He wasn’t then He would never understand. If God would not come to earth in this human form He could not say that He truly understood what you and I go through.
As the writer of Hebrews in 2:17-18 put it -“Therefore, He had to be made like His brothers in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
This child is fully human so that He could truly be the high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses, tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
This child is the SON of GOD – fully divine. God would use the ORDINARY to usher in the EXTRODINARY.
How could this one who would be called IMMANUEL be any other but GOD. The Son of the Most High, the Son of God would come through an ordinary girl. This too is vitally important – that He is God incarnate - Jesus is the High Priest we need. He is holy, good, and without sin. He is lifted high above the heavens, separated from sinners. (Hebrews 7:26)
If He were not to be the Son of God then the very thing He came to do could not be done. One who was not holy, set apart, sinless, the Son Of God could not be what the Angel promised Joseph and Mary. For they were told…
This child is the SAVIOUR– Jesus - It is GOD Himself with us. Fully man and yet fully God.
The meaning of the name Jesus was not lost on the people of the day. They knew what it meant, they know that it referred back to the Old Testament promise of a Savoir. This child, fully human and yet fully God would be the Messiah, the Christ, the Saviour.
Dorothy Sayers, a British writer of a generation or so ago, rebuked the church with some really stinging words. She said, "you have the greatest good news on earth -- the incarnation of God in human life -- and you treat it as an insignificant news item fit for page 14 of the chronicle of daily events!" Her rebuke is still accurate.