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Midweek Advent 2

December 12, 2018 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Advent

Passage: John 1:14–1:18

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Exodus 24:15-18; Hebrews 1:1-4; John 1:14-18
Date: December 5th, 2018; Midweek Advent 2
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • Glory belongs to no one but God alone.
  • Adam and Eve enjoyed God’s glory when they lived in a harmonious relationship with him in the Garden of Eden.
  • But that all changed when they were tempted by the crafty serpent to get some of God’s glory for themselves.
  • They ate from the tree that God clearly warned them not to eat from because they wanted to become like God.
  • As a result, sin and death entered God’s creation and his glory became something that sinners fear.  We became scared to death of God’s glory.
  • Simply put, sinners cannot withstand the full revelation of God’s glory without being destroyed.
  • God revealed to Moses, “…for man shall not see me and live” (Exodus 33:20). 
  • But out of his love, grace, and mercy for us - God hides himself and his glory.
  • Although it sounds a bit strange, God hides himself so that we can see him and live.
  • We heard in our reading from Exodus how God hid himself on Mount Sinai, “The glory of the LORD dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days” (Exodus 24:16).
  • But even with God’s glory being covered in a cloud, we are told that, “…the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel” (Exodus 24:17).
  • The appearance of God’s glory terrified the people.  It was too much.  
  • So they sent Moses. 
  • Moses went up on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.
  • Moses was called to be a mediator between God and the people and he was able to be in the presence of God’s glory because it was hidden in a cloud.
  • And this points forward to God’s ultimate plan of salvation.
  • When the fullness of time had come, God covered his glory not with a cloud - but in human flesh.
  • In that human flesh, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger - we see the glory of God.
  • Tonight we continue our look at the portion of our liturgy called the Proper Preface.
  • The Proper Preface is a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for what God has done for us through Jesus Christ and it changes with the day or season of the Church Year. 
  • Last week we looked at the Proper Preface for the season of Advent.
  • It speaks of John the Baptist preparing the way for the coming Messiah who would be born of a Virgin and his calling sinners to repentance that they escape the wrath to be revealed when he comes again in glory.
  • This week we will look at the Proper Preface for Christmas:
It is truly good, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord; for in the mystery of the Word made flesh You have given us a new revelation of Your glory that, seeing You in the person of Your Son, we may know and love those things which are not seen.
  • “…for in the mystery of the Word made flesh You have given us a new revelation of Your glory.”
  • This reflects what we heard in our Gospel reading from St. John, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
  • When you see Jesus, you see God - and not just God, but the glory of God.
  • Our reading from Hebrews said that Jesus is “the radiance of the glory of God” (Hebrews 1:3).
  • God has hidden himself, he has hidden his glory, in Jesus.
  • Usually when we think of glory we think big - wealth, power, celebrity, victory.
  • But God reveals his glory in an unexpected way.
  • He who is big, makes himself small.
  • He who is rich, makes himself poor.
  • He who is all-powerful, makes himself weak.
  • He makes himself as poor and weak and humble - as a baby lying in a manger.
  • He dwells with us in our flesh in order to remove the separation between us and God that our sin has caused.
  • He dwells with us in our flesh so that we not be terrified of him, but instead love and trust him.
  • He dwells with us in our flesh to suffer and die in our place.
  • Jesus took upon himself all of our shame and guilt, our sin and death - and in exchange gives to us his holiness and righteousness, his forgiveness and life.
  • The new revelation of God’s glory in Jesus is seen in the glory of his serving, his sacrifice, his giving up his life to save ours.
  • The new revelation of God’s glory in Jesus is seen in the humble things that he makes glorious - Word and water, bread and wine.
  • He covers himself, and delivers himself to us, so that we receive his gifts of love, forgiveness, and life.
  • He hides himself so that we sinners can see him and be in his presence for eternity. 
  • God has given us a new revelation of his glory that, seeing him in the person of his Son, we may know and love those things which are not seen.
Glory be to him who loved us,
Washed us from each spot and stain;
Glory be to him who bought us,
Made us kings with him to reign!
Glory, glory to the Lamb that once was slain! (LSB #506).  Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

More in Advent

December 16, 2018

Third Sunday in Advent

December 9, 2018

Second Sunday in Advent

December 5, 2018

Midweek Advent 1