The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not limited by what limits us. Paul refers to this as the “mystery of the Gospel.” It is something that is hidden from us in plain sight. Once it has been revealed, however, it changes the way we see everything else. In this sermon, we discover the ways in which the Gospel seems to be limited. In doing so, we encounter a whole new Gospel that we never knew existed. It is a Gospel that is not limited by what limits us.
Christmas comes at us like a trap (financial, relational, schedule, and emotional). When we become trapped by the most insignificant things of Christmas we will miss the most significant one. In this significant trap we will either fall into the sin of pride (signifcance) or the sin of insignificance. The story of Christmas reminds us that when Christ came He did not come from a significant place or family. Rather, he came from the most insignificant ones. The message of Christmas is this: God has a significant purpose for people trapped in insignificant places.
The Lord, our God, is in our midst. Have you seen Him? When life is not merry and bright, God’s presence can become eclipsed from our lives. In this sermon, we are reminded that an eclipse does not determine existence. Rather, God is with us in ways we cannot always see or know. But, we can still experience the joy of the Lord by rejoicing in His presence.
What if Christ did not come? What if Christmas did not happen? For many of us, we know all to well what it is like when Christ does not come. Life is absent of love. It is full of wickedness and evil. We feel forgotten. It in this middle of this that Malachi receive a dream of a White Christmas…that Christ will come! This is Good News for some and Bad News for others; both of which have implications for us today.
Advent is a seed of hope planted in the soil of despair. We often enter advent with certainty. We know all about the Christmas story. It happens the same way at the same time every year. We come, nonetheless, because of the uncertainties in our lives. We come to Advent, because of our despairs, looking for hope. In the middle of Jeremiah 33, we find an Advent. What if this Christmas God wants to advent us by making us into a brand new creation?
Sometimes life has us sitting atop the wall. Other times we are left to climb the wall. On rare occasions, however, we have fallen off the wall and feel forgotten. In this sermon, we are reminded that “God’s faithfulness outreaches man’s forgetfulness.” Even when we feel forgotten, God’s faithfulness reaches out to us and catches us before we fall.