LET US ADORE HIM (Part 5) The One Who Brings Grace & Truth Advent Week #4 John 1: 17 Pastor Carey December 24, 2017

Today just may be the busiest shopping day of the entire year!  So much to do and get, yet so little time!  Have you noticed that some purchases are easier than other purchases? Some of the things we purchase end with the payment or receiving the shipment.  You open the box and use it.  Other purchases require additional purchases or instillation.  During Christmas many toy purchases contain the dreaded phrase: “batteries not included”. What was purchased became accessible, but not usable because there was no power.  What good is a toy that needs a battery when there are no batteries around?  Grace is different.  Grace comes with everything already included.  Grace is a force. It is like a tailwind pushing us toward the will of God. Grace is God’s final statement to all humanity that in Jesus, God has done everything for us that we need. All we need to do is to “open the package”, or receive Jesus and allow Him to be the center of and the driving force in our life.

Rather than using the more traditional birth narrative accounts from Matthew and Luke’s Gospels, this year we have been looking at the story of the birth of Christ through the lens of John’s Gospel.  Our title, LET US ADORE HIM comes from the refrain of one of the most endeared of all Christmas Carols, O Come, All Ye Faithful. Daily adoration is our response as disciples of Jesus to the coming Christ child, the savior who was born to be crucified, dead and buried for our sins and the risen Lord of all.  So this Christmas season, we join together and adore Jesus for all he has, does and will forever do for us, in us and through us!

Verse 17 of John’s first chapter is nestled between two major theological points about Jesus: 1) GOD LOVES US: (vs 15-16: because of God’s love for us we have received grace upon grace upon grace from God. 2) JESUS IS GOD AND MAKES GOD KNOWN TO US.

In between the two major tenants of our faith that God loves us and Jesus is God, we see the contrast that Moses points to grace, but Jesus performs grace. Moses reports the words of God. Jesus is the Word of God. The law mirrors the light of God. Jesus is the light of God.  Jesus is the one who brings grace and truth to a dark, hopeless and confused world.  Jesus is the one who reveals God’s ultimate plan to redeem us from sin; to release us from guilt; to restore a face-to-face relationship and to resurrect our dead souls into living testimonies of the power of God’s grace for everyone who would receive the gift of Jesus Christ at any time and in any place!

Christmas is the first step of God’s rescue mission!  Jesus is the only one who could have fulfilled this mission of grace.  For anyone who has experienced the nerve-racking moments of losing a child in a public place, Joe Stowell tells of a friend who lost track of her young son while walking through a swarm of people at Union Station in Chicago. Needless to say, it was a terrifying experience. Frantically, she yelled his name and ran back up the escalator, retracing her steps in an effort to find her little boy. The minutes of separation seemed like hours, until suddenly, thankfully her son emerged from the crowd  and ran to the safety of her arms.

Thinking about how that Mom would have done anything to find her child can give us a renewed sense of gratitude for the amazing work God did to save us. From the time Adam and Eve wandered off in sin, God lamented the loss of fellowship with His people. He went to great lengths to restore the relationship by sending His one and only Son “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Without the birth of Jesus, and without His willingness to die to pay the price for our sin and to bring us to God, we would have nothing to celebrate at Christmastime. Because God loves us and because Jesus is God made known to us let’s be thankful that God took extreme measures by sending Jesus to reclaim our fellowship with Him. Although we once were lost, because of Jesus we have been found!

 

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