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Summary: Some today may think life is so terrible an affliction upon them that God seems to have forgotten to be gracious. I preach today that the Christ is born The grace of God is upon you today. Today, through the darkness shines the light Today, the t

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“O Come, O Come, Immanuel!”

Pastor Allan Kircher

25 December 2011

Isaiah 40:1-2

Introduction

Only ten hour’s more/Pacific Coast/13 short hours/Atlantic coast,

 And another Christmas will be but a memory.

A Few moments more to linger in the colorful radiance of the Christmas tree.

A few moments more to blend our hearts and voices in cheerful Christmas melodies

A few moments more/enjoy happiness that comes to our reunited family circles/Christmas

And then this day of days from which we unwillingly release our grasp is gone!

 It will give way to tomorrow.

 men will resume their normal activities

 The spell of Christmas is will be broken, its luster dimmed, its message forgotten.

But Christmas is too wonderfully magnificent to be confined to one solitary, fleeting day.

o There is a deathless significance in this Child of Christmas

o a permanent and divinely bestowed gift of God

o It brings perpetual happiness, immeasurable and unspeakable, both here and hereafter.

If you have never permitted the star of faith to guide you to Bethlehem to that manger.

If with Herod like determination you have tried to stifle the glorification of the Babe of Bethlehem.

 I employ you to separate your hearts from all your earth born attachments,

 To submerge the harsh dissonance of cold doubt and frigid skepticism

And follow the lowly shepherds to that glorious Child in Mary’s arms

To immortalize Christmas as a hope of perpetual and undying happiness by hearing and believing the divine and unfailing answer to this question:

• Who is this Child in which the very universe revolves?

In whom the hopes and fears of all the years have found their joyous fulfillment?

Message

Today we are standing at the gateway of Advent/Christmas.

I wish that the authentic thrill of Advent could lay some deep spell upon our spirits.

o The glory of the coming of the Lord is here!

o It means breaking in of the divine into human history.

o The supernatural into the natural.

It means today, a sense of something great impending from the side of heaven.

 The world is blundering in a morass of sin and sorrow.

 Darkness in the streets, men losing hope completely.

But here and there some man, some group of men, some Church stands listening and intent—for God is marching on.

That is Advent. This is Christmas

 People have their personal problems.

 There are brave faces which hide sore hearts

 secret wounds that ache

 And a restlessness that comes every morning.

Some today may think life is so terrible an affliction upon them that God seems to have forgotten to be gracious.

o I preach today that the Christ is born

o The grace of God is upon you today.

o Today, through the darkness shines the light

o Today, the troubled heart will grow calm again.

“Be still, my soul; for God will surely come.”

That is Advent. This is Christmas

o I wish we could all recapture the authentic thrill of Christmas.

o And that spirit is of our text, “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, says your God.”

I know, of course, that the Advent gospel has another side to it.

I know there is a day of the Lord that is like a thief in the night.

I have read the Word of God, and heard its great commission—“Cry aloud! Spare not! Lift up thy voice like a trumpet!”

I hear the terrible and startling urgency that was in the voice of Jesus when He tried to shake men awake from their sleep.

Let us not be found with our lamps unlit when the hour comes in the night.

I do know, that beneath all the thunder of the Advent season,

 There is a deeper undertone

 the music of the peace of God that passes all understanding;

 “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, says your God.”

The true comfort of Christ is a strong, bracing, reinforcing thing.

o It is like the wind to a boat that has been calmed.

o It is like/gift/job/man who has been out of work for years.

o It is like the clasp of a friend’s hand in time of need.

This is certainly the root idea of the word “comfort” in the NT.

When Jesus speaks of the HS as the “Comforter,”

 He is giving a promise that God will stand by man/day/need

 That He will brace his heart and nerve his arm, and make him more than a conqueror.

I will fail you if I attempt/one moment/minimize or to conceal the essential hardness of Christianity.

 It is going to be hard to the end of the day.

But I should fail you even more if I didn’t tell you of this comforting Christ who was born today.

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