Lessons and Carols 2023

Advent  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Well on this night where we celebrate in this way, that is by candle light against the back drop of darkness it might seem odd that we are not specifically using the ready out of Isaiah 9. Even if you don’t know what Isaiah 9 says you might recognize the reading.
Isaiah 9:2-7 [2] The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. [3] You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. [4] For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. [5] For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. [6] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, [7] Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (ESV)
Now all this makes significantly more sense if you get on a poetic hat and remember that in the Hebrew and Christian tradition light means revelation and Darkness means ignorance. The arrival of light means the arrival of knowledge, in this case saving knowledge. The saving knowledge of God and his Son Jesus Christ.
At the beginning of the Biblical narrative we have man knowing God’s character because man and God could live together in God’s space…the Garden. Of course due to rebellious hearts man is ejected from the garden, and now has to live away from God and cannot enter God’s space. Man moves from being in the light to being in the dark. Christmas is the celebration of the Light going from God’s space and arriving in our space. That is revelation of God comes to us. We no longer strive for God’s space God come and makes this into his space.
To walk in darkness is to be without God, God who is Love, and Hope and Peace and Joy and Fellowship. If we had to exist forever in a place without those things, that place would figuratively and literally be hell. Now we can walk connected to all those realities, Love, Hope, Peace, Joy, Fellowship. Our connection to these things start with God coming into our space…taking on human flesh or meat or carne in Spanish and Latin. We celebrate the incarnation of Jesus Christ. God became like one of us.
And in being like one of us he successfully lives in keeping with God’s perfect standards, he is innocent from birth to the end. And in his innocence he is condemned to die for our sin. Christmas is the beginning of whole event of Jesus rescue. The whole event. The math of the cross only works if it has the math of the incarnation, the baptism, fasting, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension. So tonight we celebrate one part of this. The arrival, the light in the darkness.
I’ll finish with this thought. We are ahead of schedule by ten days. Tonight we are celebrating like it is Christmas before it actually is. It just happened to work better in the church plants calendar this way. In reality, these four weeks leading to Christmas called Advent, are not little christmases, they are little lents, little times of fasting and preparing our heart. We spend this time reflecting on the darkness that is around us in need of the light of Christ. Lets celebrate this night, but be mindful that moving forward if God should ordain that this little family called the DCAC survives we will celebrate Advent as a preparation and fast. And in the future Christmas will be specifically for the season of Christmas. Till then God bless you this night may the light of Jesus Christ shine in your hearts this day and forever more!
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