December 27, 2020 Service
Jesus is Born Now What
      • Psalm 148HCSB

  • Experiencing the World Changer: What Does It Mean?

    For the last four weeks we have been preaching an advent series from the Christ’s Birthday Observance 2020 theme, “Experiencing the World Changer.” And we haven’t been talking about the COVID-19 virus that has changed so many things in our world in the last 10 months. We have, of course, been talking about the miracle of the incarnation of the Eternal Word who was with God from the beginning, who is God. This is the One we can experience who will change our worlds.
    Our true World Changer, Jesus, born of Mary in Bethlehem with her husband Joseph there for support and family leadership. Just Friday we remembered that birth, and shared gifts because of the gift of God’s Son, sent to save us. The Word become flesh who dwelt among us for 33 years. This is the Son of God, the Son of Man, who taught us the very heart of God for 3 years before he gave himself to die for us, to pay the penalty and atone for our sins Our World Changer is Jesus, who was raised from the grave 3 days later to prove he was true about all he said.
    For four weeks, we celebrated Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, as the fulfillment of the promised child from Isaiah 9:6-7, carrying the names of Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Those identities are needed so that the other promises of the passage can be realized: That the government will be upon his shoulder, and that of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.
    Those are realities that are active even now. This government is not a matter of governments, but of the management, the governing, of all things, ever more until the end of time. The good thing about that is that the increase of peace will be a real and genuine outflow of Christ’s government. Kind of good that he is in control, in these days when things in the world are so tenuous and out of control. Always remember, God’s still got this.
    So, we celebrated Jesus’ birth on Friday. Now it’s Sunday. It happens to be the last Sunday before we celebrate a new year, so in some ways it really seems that we are at a fresh start in our reckoning of time and of opportunity. And that a good thing in a lot of ways.
    >>>We want to start with some of the first reactions the Bible lists as we continue to celebrate that . . .

    Jesus is Born!

    In Luke chapter 2 we already had the angel announcing to the shepherds that they would find a new-born lying in a feeding trough. Their reaction was praise to God and an unbridled enthusiasm as they told everyone they could about what the angel said to them and the child they found as it was told.
    >>>The regular practice of naming the child happened, probably in Bethlehem, according to
    Luke 2:21 CSB
    21 When the eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus—the name given by the angel before he was conceived.
    By the way, if God sends his angel to you to inform you of the name of your newborn, it’s probably a good idea to stick with it. Both Mary and Joseph had an encounter with the the Angel messenger of God about the child’s name. Jesus is the English version of the Greek Ἰησοῦς, which is how you spell the Hebrew name יֵשׁוּעַ‎ "Yeshua" which is the form the older Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ Yehoshua, Joshua to us. Yeshua, a name meaning to rescue”. for the angel had said in Matthew 1:21 that he would save his people from their sins.
    >>>Now, 40 days later, the time of purification for a mother to be allowed back on Temple grounds, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to be presented to Yahweh Father God as a dedication to the Lord God as the first-born male child of a Jewish mother. We read in Luke that they were prepared with the meager, minimum offerings a struggling young family would bring, a pair of doves or young pigeons. Let’s read it in. . .
    Luke 2:22–24 CSB
    22 And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) 24 and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons).
    The birth of Jesus had not yet impacted the Temple practices at all; the Law of Moses ruled Jesus’ family and culture and even Jesus himself until that time when he would come into his own and claim his place as the fulfilment of the Law.
    So the 40 days I mentioned were a sort of isolation from the rest of the community, and certainly from the synagogue or Temple. They had to be completed according to Leviticus 12:1-12 for the mother to be considered ceremonially clean after the messy business of birth. It’s a multiplication of the days a woman would be considered ceremoniously unclean every month during her cycles between her teens and menopause. I’m sure Mary was excited to get out of the house and make this visit to the Temple to make her sacrifice for atonement before the priest while they were staying in Bethlehem.
    Joseph was likely excited to bring this firstborn boy of his young family to the Temple. In this dedication the family was recognizing that this child, as were all first-born males, belongs to God for his purposes. This was a law given to Moses just before the angel of death destroyed the firstborn of Egypt but passed over the firstborn of Israel in Exodus 13:2.
    >>>While they were there, two people had an experience with the world-changer, Jesus, and confirmed to Mary and Joseph that their child was special.

    Experiencing the World Changer: Simeon

    The first of these is Simeon, whom we are told in Luke 2:25 was righteous and devout, and was looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. The Holy Spirit was on Simeon that day in the Temple, and had promised him he would behold the Messiah in his lifetime. Luke 2:27 tells us the Spirit led him into the temple, and among all the people who had come to the temple that day, Simeon met Joseph and Mary and Jesus.
    >>>That’s when...
    Luke 2:28–33 CSB
    28 Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said, 29 Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation. 31 You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples— 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel. 33 His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.
    But it wasn’t only Simeon’s world that was changing because of Jesus. For that day Mary and Joseph’s world changed forever as Simeon addressed them:
    Luke 2:34–35 CSB
    34 Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary, “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed—35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

    Experiencing the World-Changer: Anna

    Luke 2:36–37 CSB
    36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and was a widow for eighty-four years. She did not leave the temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers.
    Luke 2:38 CSB
    38 At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

    In the Fullness of Time

    Galatians 4:4–5 CSB
    4 When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

    We Can Know We Can Call on God OUR Father

    Galatians 4:6–7 CSB
    6 And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir.
    Talk about a World-Changer for us!

    When We Experience the World-Changer for Ourselves, We Enter the Family of God through Jesus

    Jesus is Born. What Now?

    A Life-Changing Experience

    Titus 2:11–12 CSB
    11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,
    There has to be a meaning and purpose for the World in the birth of God’s son. Not just a private salvation, but a

    A World-Changing Experience

    Titus 2:13–14 CSB
    13 while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works.

    So Now What?

    How will you live?
      • Luke 2:21HCSB

      • Luke 2:22–24HCSB

      • Luke 2:28–33HCSB

      • Luke 2:34–35HCSB

      • Luke 2:36–37HCSB

      • Luke 2:38HCSB

      • Galatians 4:4–5HCSB

      • Galatians 4:6–7HCSB

      • Titus 2:11–12HCSB

      • Titus 2:13–14HCSB

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