Summary: This sermon, based on John 1: 14 and Luke 1:50, was preached on the Sunday after Christmas which happened to be December 26th. It’s focus is on the grace of Jesus and our inability to earn our salvation.

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Jesus Bring Us Grace

--John 1:14 and Luke 1:50

Lynn Harold Hough was a Methodist pastor in the early part of the twentieth century and became the President of Northwestern University. In 1908 he became the first to write a “Pledge of Allegiance to the Christian Flag”. Once when he was speaking to a conference of pastors in Los Angeles he told this story: “A group of men, at work in a coal mine, were trapped deep in the earth because of a cave-in of a shaft. Their only hope lay in rescue from the outside.” [--W. T. Purkiser, ed. Exploring Our Christian Faith (Kansas City, Mo.: Beacon Hill Press, 1966), 270.]

That, my brothers and sisters, is the message we have been proclaiming during the entire Season of Advent. Just like those coal mines who depended upon rescue from the outside, you and I as sinners needed Someone from the outside to redeem us from sin and death, and that is the reason Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. As the trapped miners could do nothing to save themselves, so there was and there still is nothing you and I can ever possibly do to save ourselves from sin and death. This is a picture of grace.

God has blessed us with a Wonderful Advent and Christmas at Central United Methodist Church. I have especially been blessed and drawn closer to Jesus in preparing the messages for this Holy Season: “Jesus Brings Us Peace,” “Jesus Brings Us Love,” “Jesus Brings Us Joy”, and “Jesus Brings Us God.” In the time of preparation for each one of them I can honestly say, as we share in our Emmaus small groups called Reunion Groups; those were the times each week when I “felt closest to Christ.”

In preparing the final two messages for Advent, two verses from the greater context really grabbed my attention and seemed to keep saying to me, “That will preach.” The first were the words from Mary’s Song in Luke 1:50 from the message “Jesus Brings Us Joy.” Recall that verse one more time with me this morning:

“His mercy extends to those who fear Him;

From generation to generation.”

The word “mercy” was the attention grabber for me. Then go back one more time to John 1:14 from last Sunday’s message “Jesus Brings Us God”:

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We

have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from

the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The attention grabber for me in that verse, which recalled the one from Luke as well, was the word “grace.” Therefore, I want to share one more message of the Season on this Sunday after Christmas Day, “Jesus Brings Us Grace.”

When you look up the words grace and mercy in a thesaurus, you find they are indeed synonyms along with goodwill, which is another word that reminds me of the Gospel’s account of Christmas. That is the message of Luke 2:13-14, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

‘Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’”

Jesus brings us grace, mercy, goodwill. Jesus if “full of grace,” and

Mary praises God whose “mercy extends to those who fear Him.” The

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