Heaven Taking Over
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Luke 1:31–1:33, Luke 2:1–2:18, Colossians 1:19–1:20, Matthew 5:9, Matthew 6:9–6:10
A four week Advent series leading up to Christmas about the birth of Jesus. Heaven broke through this sin-cursed world of our when Jesus was born. He made a way to heaven for us and our hope will one day become our reality.
Luke 1:31-33 NIV
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 2:1-7 NIV
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:8-12 NIV
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The Miracle of the Incarnation
With Jesus, heaven and earth come together as one—Jesus, the eternal Son of God, takes on frail humanity and lives on this same earthly terrain of ours as one of us. It's the miraculous merging of worlds that the prophets of God predicted, but no one saw coming. The Divine Messiah is lying in a lowly manger.
Luke 2:13-18 NIV
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
The Peace that Prevails
Back in the first century, "Pax Romana" (Latin for "Roman Peace") ruled the land. It was an unprecedented era of relative peace and stability over so much of the globe. Yet this peace came at a price and that price was power and compliance. Peace was yours as long as you stayed in line and gave glory to Caesar.
But Jesus came to bring a true and prevailing peace that wasn't just the absence of conflict, but it also was the presence of freedom, joy, love, respect, compassion, and anything else that nourishes our souls. It’s what the Old Testament prophets described as “shalom”—where the lion lies down with the lamb and where swords are beaten into plowshares. This is the mission of peace that Jesus, the Promised Messiah, came to accomplish.
The peace of Jesus is meant to be EXPERIENCED personally…
so trust Jesus as your Savior.
We all long for true and lasting, but we struggle to find it. We trust in things like patriotism, materialism, romanticism, and hedonism which promise so much but deliver so little. Jesus offers His prevailing peace to all who trust in Him. For today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you. Today, on the Cross of Calvary, a Savior has died because of you. Today, from an empty tomb, a Savior has risen for you.
Colossians 1:19-20 NIV
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
The peace of Jesus is meant to be EXPRESSED passionately…
so live as a peacemaker.
With all the name-calling, finger-pointing, and rage-venting around us, it's so tempting to respond with flight or fight. But as the church, escaping and escalating are not the answers. Instead as peacemakers, the answer for us means engaging--engaging the people around us and engaging the issues that affect us, doing so in a spirit of grace and truth just like Jesus.
So when Jesus says, “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to them the other also,” He’s calling us to walk a path of righteousness, not one of revenge.
Maybe this is the Christmas where you step into a messy and conflicted relationship of yours and you do so as a peacemaker. So instead of winning an argument and proving a point, you make an apology and say you’re sorry. Peacemaking means speaking less, listening more, and trying to understand where the other person is coming from.
Matthew 5:9 NIV
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Luke 2:13-14 NIV
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Matthew 6:9-10 NIV
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Peace on Earth as it is in Heaven
“Heavenly Father, just as heaven broke through when you sent Your Son into our world to be our Savior. And just as heaven took over as You raised Him from the dead, may Your name be hallowed in all that I say and do. Help me to live as a peacemaker, so that Your kingdom may come and Your will may be done, on earth as it is in heaven… a little more, each day, through me and through my church.”
"O Lord, make this our prayer. Make this our passion. Make this our purpose, so that Your peace will prevail on earth as it is in heaven, always and forever."
Christmas Services 2018
Check out this link for more information about our Christmas Services this year--Sunday, December 23 at 5:00 & 7:00pm and Monday, December 24 at 1:00, 3:00 & 5:00pm. Just a reminder: We will not have our usual 9:30 & 11:15am services on the morning of the 23rd.