Christmas Peace

December 26, 2011

“He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.” – Micah 5:4-5

What is peace?

Peace is the absence of trouble, tension, disaster and surprise. Peace is the presence of safety, security, contentment and relief. When you are at peace, there’s nothing else you need. You’d like things to stay just as they are. You hope that nothing changes.

Unfortunately, earthly “peace” will always change. Earthly peace is always short-lived. Christmas meals bring some peace, but just hours later you are hungry again. Happy relationships bring peace, but can you guarantee that even for one fleeting year, your solid relationship will never once face discord? Christmas presents bring a little peace, but the very same gadgets that cause a hearty, “Thanks!” are soon broken or forgotten. And how many people ever get everything on their Christmas lists? And even if they did, would they have lasting peace?

For lasting Christmas peace, we look away from earthly stuff and we look to the Good Shepherd, Jesus. “He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.” Jesus’ peace is not only for a time. Jesus’ peace is not isolated to one area. Jesus’ peace cannot be overruled. In power and compassion, his greatness reaches everywhere, all the time, penetrating our hearts to the core.

Let’s look especially to the last sentence: “And he will be their peace.” Jesus himself is our peace. Not Christmas meals, relationships or presents, but Jesus. It’s not just that he knows where to find peace, or that he shows us the way to peace – he IS our peace! In Jesus, we stand confidently under God’s favor. In Jesus, we live with the comfort of God’s abiding presence and almighty power. We know exactly what our eternal future will be. Jesus alone provides eternal safety, security, contentment and relief.  In him, our peace will never change.

What is peace? Jesus is peace. When you have him, you have it all.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, prevent me from looking to earthly avenues of peace and thinking they will last. Instead, turn me toward Jesus, so that I might find true peace that lasts. Then help me to enjoy all the other blessings on earth you provide in a way that honors you. Amen.
Advertisements

Christmas Day

December 25, 2011

Order of Service Printed in Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Readings

Listen to Today’s Sermon:

Read Today’s Sermon


Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

December 24, 2011

Order of Service Printed in the Bulletin

The Readings

Listen to the Sermon:

Read Today’s Sermon


Christmas Eve Children’s Program

December 24, 2011

Order of Service Printed in the Bulletin


Advent Service IV

December 21, 2011

Order of Service Printed in Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Readings

Listen to Today’s Sermon:

Read Today’s Sermon


Glory in Humility

December 19, 2011

The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

Achievement and recognition, the two usually go hand in hand. Take any field of endeavor. Achievement usually leads to some kind of recognition. For the diligent student, it means better scholarship offers. For the dedicated athlete, it nets a more lucrative contract. For the ambitious employee, it results in better opportunities and compensation. Because achievement and recognition are so closely linked, it is hard to reconcile the thought of glory in humility. Few people recognize the humble or take notice of those who stand in the shadows of the lime light. Still, this is exactly what Jesus did when he came to this earth, and it is the truth to which John testifies so clearly and powerfully.

Jesus came to this earth to take on flesh and blood. He came to live with all people, and he came to live for me. He came to be my Substitute and my Savior.

I was under God’s just sentence for my sin and powerless to change the verdict. I desperately needed someone to rescue me. That someone was Jesus, and it meant he had to take my place in order to secure my release. Consequently, he subjected himself to humility by stepping down from his power and glory as God to become my servant. In serving me, he subjected himself to life on this earth, as well as the shameful death and punishment I deserved.

Here is where I see glory in humility. When Jesus gave up his power as the Son of God, it was to his glory. When Jesus endured my humility, it was to his praise. When Jesus endured the burden of my guilt, it was to proclaim the greatness of his undeserved love. From the world’s perspective this makes little sense. From God’s perspective, and for my rescue, it means everything.

I have a faithful and loving Savior. He allowed himself to be humiliated, condemned and crucified. In the process he secured my release, set me apart for heaven, and sealed his glory forever.

Although it may be hard to reconcile glory in humility, I see it accomplished in Jesus. He is the glorious Son of God. He is the humble Servant of grace and truth. He is my faithful Substitute and Savior.

Prayer: Oh dearest Jesus, how can I ever thank you for humbling yourself to be my Substitute and my Savior. Fill my heart with joy and thanksgiving for all you have done, and continue to do in order to bring me from this life to the glorious life you have prepared for me in heaven. Amen.

Fourth Sunday in Advent

December 18, 2011

Order of Service Printed in Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Readings

Today’s Adult Bible Class Slides

Listen to Today’s Sermon:

Read Today’s Sermon