Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Advent Midweek 3: "Jesus' Advent in Human Flesh"

+ Advent Midweek 3 – December 17th, 2014 +
Redeemer Lutheran, HB
“Jesus is Coming: The Hymns of Advent”
Savior of the Nations Come
Isaiah 9:1-7; John 1:1-14
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.
In Advent we sing the faith.
We’ve spent the midweek services reflecting on the hymns of Advent. Hopefully they get good and stuck in your head whenever you leave church. Take them home. Read, mark, and meditate on the words. Sing, rejoice, and share them.
In Advent our voices join with those who accompanied Jesus’ advent in human flesh with singing.
After Gabriel’s visitation, Mary sang the Magnificat. My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
At the birth of John the Baptist, Zechariah sang the Benedictus. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David”
At Jesus’ birth the angels sang the Gloria in Excelsis. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior.
Simeon sings the Nunc Dimittis as he holds 40-day-old Jesus in his arms. “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation…
Did you hear the common word in all of those songs?
Savior. This is Jesus’ name: Jeshua. YHWH Saves. His name is Jesus for he will save his people from their sins. Jesus saves you from your sin.
And so in Advent we pray, confess, and sing: Savior of the Nations, Come.
Just like the Advent season, this hymn is all about Jesus your savior. It’s a sermon set to music. It’s the Creed in song and poetry, a beautiful and faithful confession of Christ’s incarnation, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension.
In Advent we sing the faith:
For the Savior of the nations has come in human flesh to save you.
We sing because we need a savior. Isaiah was writing about us too. We are the people who dwell in darkness and in a land of deep darkness. Sin clouds our minds in ignorance. We do not love the Lord our God with all our heart, and soul, and mind. Sin is a pitch-black abyss of unbelief. Sin is the darkness of the coffin lid shutting out the last ray of light. Like dogs we foolishly think we can bury our sins in the darkness so our Master won’t uncover them.
Savior of the Nations, Come. Lighten the darkness of our hearts by your gracious visitation. For apart from you o Lord, who can be saved? Not by human flesh and blood, By the Spirit of our God. What is impossible for man is possible for God.
The Virgin’s Son makes his home with us. Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. The Son of God becomes our brother. Jesus is born in humility and darkness to rescue you from the darkness of death by his humility. Jesus is born in the darkness of a stable for us who sit in the darkness of sin and in the shadow of death. For unto us a child is born. Unto you a Son is given.
Mary’s womb became the throne room. God assumes all of humanity into himself. In Jesus’ incarnation, not only does heaven come to earth wrapped in swaddling clothes, but heaven grasps earth. The God who cannot be seen is now seen in baby Jesus. The God who cannot be counted in days, weeks, months, or years, is born, grew in wisdom and stature, he died. All for you. The darkness of our sins is overcome by the Light of Christ that shines forth from the manger.
For you the King of heaven rules and reigns from the straw of a feeding trough. For you God the Creator becomes a creature to save you and all creation. The Lord who is enthroned in the cherubim is pleased to surround himself with sheep, shepherds, and sinners.
The Savior of the nations has come in human flesh to save you. And his birth is only the beginning.
Then stepped forth the Lord of all
From His pure and kingly hall;
God of God, yet fully man,
His heroic course began.
God the Father was His source,                          
Back to God He ran His course.
Into hell His road went down,
Back then to His throne and crown.
In this Advent hymn we confess the entire Creed. The same Jesus who was born of Mary was also born to die for you. The Father sends his only Son to save us from our sins against him. The same Lord enthroned in straw and stable was crowned with thorns and pierced for you. The King of heaven fixed with nails to wood for you.
Christmas sounds the horn of salvation. Your redemption is here. The infant King is on the move. And the thorns and thistles are in retreat. The rivers and fields clap their hands; the hills and plains shout for joy. Creation’s groaning turns to gladness. Jesus’ advent in human flesh is the sequel to Genesis 1, 2, and 3 – a sequel that no one expected to be written.
Jesus comes to you written not in ink but wrapped in the substance of his creation, the Word became flesh. The Savior of the nation comes to you, not “once upon a time” or “in a galaxy far, far away” but in the days of Caesar Augustus, when Qurinius was governor of Syria. He was crucified for you under Pontius Pilate.
For You are the Father’s Son
Who in flesh the vict’ry won.
By Your mighty power make whole
All our ills of flesh and soul.
From the manger newborn light
Shines in glory through the night.
Darkness there no more resides;
In this light faith now abides.
His birth. His life. His suffering. His weeping. His praying. His healing. His preaching. His bleeding. His dying. He did all of this for you. He did not die for his transgressions. He died for you. He did not need victory over sin and death, you did. That is why the Savior of the Nations came to you. To rescue you and all nations. His triumph over the devil is yours. In Jesus’ flesh your sin is defeated, your death is destroyed, and your captor, the devil is crushed by the Seed of the woman. God’s promise in Genesis 3 is fulfilled. The shadow of death swallow Jesus up on Good Friday. But the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness could not overcome Jesus. And neither will it overcome you.
In Advent we sing the faith. The Savior of the Nations has come in human flesh to save you.
And Jesus still comes to save you. Heaven comes to earth. In the bread and the wine upon our lips and in our mouths, God is there upon his throne. The Virgin’s son makes his home with you in your Baptism; you are a temple for the Holy Spirit. Marvel now o heav’n and earth that our Lord gives you new birth. By his mighty power you are made whole in Baptism. In the Supper the Savior of the Nations comes to heal all your ills of flesh and soul by his flesh and blood, given and shed for you.
What a joyous reason to pray, confess, and sing…
Glory to the Father sing,
Glory to the Son, our King,
Glory to the Spirit be
Now and through eternity.
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.

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