Sermons

Summary: Fourth in the series but preached Christmas Eve. How do we glorify our Lord in all he does

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Peter Loughman is one of the pastors at First Pres. Anchorage, he writes that his wife committed a horrendous mistake their first Christmas as husband and wife. What she did was rip open her gift. Doesn’t sound too bad does it? Until you realize, as Peter explains, "Mom’s way of gift wrapping was to separately cover lid, and base of a box with paper so to wrap a gift all you had to do was place the item in the box and put on the top. To open simply slide of the top, Re-use next year." The box which Katie had torn open was 15 years old.

Peter then asks a very good question, "Are we too concerned with the package? Jesus – how could we miss him?" [1]

There are many who would worship the wrapping rather than the gift. Who will fight for the disposable and toss away the eternal. Who will ooh and ah over the pretty and not touch the life changing. Who will Season this season with songs, thoughts, concepts, decorations, and approaches to life that are okay; but just okay. And in doing this they risk missing the most incredible season of all, the season of God’s love.

To Season our Glorifying we have to make sure we’re praising the right things. Thus our focus is on Christ. We need to consider means by which we glorify Christ. Our worship, consideration of the things God and living out Jesus’ agenda become part of the season of our lives.

An amazing thing occurred the night Jesus was born. "God became flesh." So overwhelmed, the angels couldn’t help but allow their song of praise to blast out across the pastures near Bethlehem. The most wonderful news was told to a group of shepherds. We don’t know how many. We don’t know if they herded their sheep into the town when they went to see the baby (logic would say no). We don’t know what the angels looked like. But, what we do know is the glory of Heaven had become a human baby. And the glory of the Lord shone around those sheep bound lives on that very night. That those charged with glorifying God shared it with those just like us. And when these shepherds had seen the baby they too returned with joy.

A hymn from 1811 Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning was written by Reginald Heber for epiphany. He was later became bishop of Calcutta. The hymn has been set to at least four alternative tunes, rather than just Harding’s "Moring Star". My favorite version came from 1972 when singer/composer John Fischer recorded it on his Still Life album.

Listen as I read the verses for you.

Brightest and Bless

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,

Dawn on our darkness and lend us Thine aid;

Star of the East, the horizon adorning,

Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining;

Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall;

Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,

Maker and Monarch and Savior of all!

Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion,

Odors of Edom and offerings divine?

Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,

Myrrh from the forest, or gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,


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