Summary: Advent message.We must be prepared and ready for the Christmas season. It takes determination and excercising our faith.
Preparing to be prepared
This was prepared from resources from sermon central and private study.
It’s official Thanksgiving and Black Friday are behind us.
It is officially the Christmas season. Let the craziness begin.
I saw Kevin and Becky on Friday, I didn’t stop because I was afraid they would ask me to have helped them, I mean I had some other business I had to do.
Purpose of this mornings message.
Prepare our hearts and our minds so that we do not forget the reason for the season.
The more vigilant you are about preparing for Christmas, the more you are about getting your heart in the right perspective, the more meaningful this Christmas will be for you and your family.
Another Christmas or this can be a time of refreshing your relationship with Jesus and others.
As Grace has read, this is a passage about the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth having a child after in the natural it would be almost impossible.
It is one of many advent scriptures.
Advent is the 4 weeks before the Christmas miracle.
Ordinary people; Extraordinary God.
So we have to be careful what we call impossible. There are a whole lot of things that awhile back seemed impossible.
Marvel comics, as a kid, reading about flying space ships and in 1969, we land on the moon.
I remember the original Atari game. Tennis. Blip, Blip, Blip,. We thought it could not get any better that that. Now the games are so high tech, that most older folks cannot work them.
The computer, when I was in high school, learned on IBM cards put into this giant machine with holes in the cards for programing.
The first t.v., some of you remember. You thought impossible. Now most would think it impossible to live without it.
“Nothing is impossible with God”
we light candles, they do more than give light, they are a symbol of our faith.
We will be setting up the Nativity scene, it is not just because we always do it, it is a timeless reminder of God coming to redeem mankind, and more personal, you and I.
Advent is about ordinary people, in regular life circumstances, being transformed by God’s loving work.
You have to listen to the text
Zechariah and Elizabeth, married couple, obedient to God, record of good faith, faithful church goers.
Zechariah a priest, coming from great lineage of people.
Not able to have children (set backs, disappointments)
Understand this culture, that this was believed to be because of sin.
Luke tells us and shows us that bad things happen to good people, but he also shows us that ordinary becomes extraordinary when God shows up. That we cannot be quick to throw the word impossible around when we are believing God is involved.
Zechariah was going about his job.
Going about what he does everyday.
Zechariah was of the tribe of Aaron. The men of Aaron were priests. There was a lot of priest. So much that they were divided they believe into 24 divisions of priest who took their turns at praying and burning of incense in the temple.
Scripture tells us(v8)
“Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense”
While he was doing that- The angel of the Lord shows up and says to him
“Your prayers have been answered”
The prayer that kept him up at night.
He wanted a son. Wanted the Lord to honor that prayer.
Wanted him to break the curse of being barren.
The angel goes into great detail about who this child will be:
“John, the forerunner to Christ.”
This Christmas , you can come to the manger, receive all that the Lord has for you. Or you can chalk this up to another year of hearing the Christmas story.
* after dinner, we will set up our sanctuary and prepare for the season.
Years ago, there was a very wealthy man, who with his devoted son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed father looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an expert art collector. But the day came when war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram that his beloved son had been killed while carrying a fellow soldier to a medic. On Christmas morning, a knock came at the door of the old man’s home, and as he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand. He introduced himself to the man by saying, I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moment’s? I have something to show you. I am an artist, said the soldier, and I want to give you this. As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of his son. Though the art critics would never consider the work a piece of genius, the painting did feature the young man’s face in striking detail, and seemed to capture his personality. The following spring the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation. According to the will of the old man, all the art works would be auctioned. The day soon arrived, and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world’s most spectacular paintings. The auctioneer began with a painting that was not on any museum list. It was a painting of the old man’s son. Who will open the bid at 100 dollars. The room went silent. From the back of the room someone callously called out, who cares about that painting? It is just the son. Lets forget about it and go on to the important paintings. No, we have to sell this one first. Now, who will be the first bid? Finally a friend of the old man spoke, I knew the boy, so I would like to have it. I will bid 100 dollars. Will anyone go higher? After a silence, going once, going twice, gone The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room, now we can get unto the others. The auctioneer announced to the crowd that the auction was over. what about these other paintings? It is very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son...get’s it all.