Sermons

Summary: A reflection on how to be ready for Jesus to come as we prepare in the Advent Season.

12.9.20 Revelation 22:20

20 The one who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Jesus Is Coming Soon

What will we give Him?

Here’s a little fact you may not have known about our preschool teacher. She’s a twin. Not only that, but if I have the order correct, she was the surprise twin. When her mother gave birth to Ella, her twin sister, she didn’t realize that she had an Ida inside her as well. Imagine the surprise of the doctors and the parents! They now had to prepare for TWO instead of one, and that would not be an easy thing. We’ve had to prepare for five children throughout our lives. The first or second one were probably the most difficult, because we were heading into unknown territory. It got easier after that because we knew what we were preparing for.

Imagine the thoughts that Mary must have had inside her mind after Gabriel appeared to her? How could I be the one to give birth to God in the flesh? How am I supposed to raise the Savior of the world? She had no power and no privilege. She had no experience in being a mother; no books like “What to expect when you’re expecting.” She was not even under the protection of her husband Joseph at the time. How do you prepare for something like that? There’s no way you could be!

The Wise Men prepared by gathering their finest gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, getting on their camels, and following the Star to Bethlehem. They wanted to give Jesus their finest and their best. They didn’t have to raise Jesus or feed Him: nor would they be expected to. They only saw Him for what, a few days or a few hours? Nonetheless, they wanted to give Jesus their best: to help in whatever way possible. It involved time, work, and gifts. The Wise Men traveled miles and miles in order to give their best to a TODDLER. They didn’t know too much about Him, other than that He was the King of the Jews. How shocking it must have been for them to come to a little house in such a small town of Bethlehem. The toddler Jesus could not respond with more than perhaps a smile. Nonetheless, they worshiped Him and gave Him their best in what little time they had.

It is good for us, during Advent, to remember and contemplate what we are preparing to celebrate, the birth of God, Immanuel, God with us. How shocking it is, when you think about it! God is coming to us! If God doesn’t come to us, then we can never come to Him. What a miracle, God taking on human flesh and walking among us! Then to touch us and let us touch Him, and to let us put Him on a cross. Christmas is the beginning of this wonderful thing called the Incarnation. We celebrate this every year. We don’t have to take care of Jesus as Mary did. Nor do we have to carry him to Egypt as Joseph did. So we come in the shoes of the Wise Men, for one hour tonight, in the season of Advent. We want to be prepared for this, to give Him our best.

What is our best? Think of the repairman who comes to your house to clean out your plumbing or tear out a wall or install something. You know he’s got a tough job ahead of him. He’s got the knowledge and the tools. So what do you do? You open the door for him. You welcome him. You maybe offer him some water. You are thankful that he is there to fix your problem. But mainly, you get out of his way and let him do his job.

We may not have gold, frankincense and myrrh. But we have voices. We have offerings. We have songs. We have a church to decorate. We have instruments to play. We have time. But really, we don’t want any of these celebrations to get in the way of Jesus. Instead, we want Jesus to be the center of our celebrations and worship.

Unlike any other infant who has NO choice in coming into this world, Jesus did. He existed prior to the flesh, prior to the Holy Spirit implanting Him into the womb of Mary. He knew what He was heading into our world to do, to go to the cross for us. We know the dirty work He had ahead of Him.

So in light of all this, we want to come during this Advent service to give Him our BEST. We come in cars. We come in the comfort of a heated church instead of a cattle stall. We come with the best of our singing, with songs that talk about what Jesus came to do for us. It doesn’t matter what else is going on. We will MAKE time for this - the best of our effort to PRAISE Him for what He came to do. He looks from heaven in hindsight and sees how we relive the moment: how we prepare for Christmas. We want to give HIM our best in hindsight as we prepare for Christmas.

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