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Summary: Unwrapping the Glory of Christmas begins when we raise our understanding of God's Glory.

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Wired for Glory

November 18, 2010

John 12:27-29; 36-43

Astrophysicists Spot Brightest Star

In July 2010, Paul Crowther, professor of astrophysics from the University of Sheffield's Department of Physics and Astronomy, announced that he and his research team had discovered a star they described as the brightest star ever found in the universe.

A blue hypergiant star, the mass of the star is roughly 265 times that of our sun.

The star, currently named R136a1, is not twice as bright as our sun, which would be overwhelming in tself if it were the sun that our earth orbited.

It is not just 10 times brighter, which is a light so bright we can hardly imagine it.

It is not a hundred times brighter or a thousand times brighter than our sun.

It is not a million times brighter!

This newly identified star is ten million times brighter than our sun! How can anything be that bright? Not even a welder's helmet would help you face the light from this giant.

Thinking about this star gives us a sense of what the glorious presence of God is like, for Scripture says that God is a being who "lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see."

John 1:14

14 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.

 Unwrapping the Glory of Christmas begins when we raise our understanding of God's Glory.

The false Message of Christmas

Wrapped up the wrong gift.

Note: I am indebted to the book Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey for the thoughts behind this sermon.

I. The glory that comes from God is a person.

A. Loving the glory that comes from God connects the Person of glory -- Jesus.

John 1:14

14 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.

NIV

B. God was most glorified when the Lord of Glory was crushed on the cross of shame.

John 12:23-28

23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

27 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!"

NIV

Christmas is about the coming cross; the cross is about God glorifying his Name.

II. The glory that comes from God demands a pursuit

John 12:37-43

37 Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:

"Lord, who has believed our message

and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:


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