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Monday, December 24, 2012

Sermon 12242012 Early Christmas Eve Service


May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray!  O God, You have made this Holy night to shine with the brightness of the true light, Jesus Christ.  Grant all of us gathered here to behold the earthly mystery of our Savior, the Light of the World and embrace Him with the fullness and joys of our hearts as we gather around the manger with all of the animals.  For His birth fulfills the promise of the Messiah for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this Christmas Eve.  AMEN.

In a lowly manger, because there was no room in the inn, our Savior, Jesus Christ was surrounded, not by royalty in fine linen, but by the animals created by His Father and our God.  With humblest of beginnings the animals that Adam named as he looked for a mate, looked down upon the Savior of the World.  Whether it was the roosters, cows, the ox or the donkey, the pigs or the sheep, each animal provided a different perspective of the love, not only of the Savior, but of adoration of Jesus Christ laying in the manger wrapped in swaddling cloths.

For in complete fulfillment of the prophecies of old, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus Christ into this world in the city of David, Bethlehem.  From the humblest of beginnings, laying on the straw that was used for feed for the cattle and sheep, Jesus Christ entered this world in the humblest of ways, but heralded the greatest changes for all of mankind.  Jesus entrance was the beginning of the fulfillment of the plan of salvation.  It was the fulfillment of the promises of the Old Testament and the prophets of the coming Messiah.  Jesus Christ came to set we the captives free from sin, death and the devil and all of this began with His laying in a manger, because there was no room in the inn surrounded by the lowly animals.

The animals that surrounded Joseph, Mary and Jesus, not only witnessed the greatest mystery of life a child’s birth, but the divine mystery of how Jesus Christ, Son of God and our Savior entered into relationship with humanity.  With His humble birth, the relationship with humanity would take on infinite dimension even with His parents, the animals and with each of us gathered here tonight to celebrate His birth.  The relationship of Jesus Christ with mankind was not of potential, but fulfillment for each of us.  Jesus Christ comes to each of us and as we look upon the manger, unlike the animals who used it as a feed source, we who gather tonight see the manger as the source of the heavenly food of Jesus Christ presented unto us.

Jesus Christ present to us tonight is that we celebrate our personal relationship with Him with His entrance into the World.  It is the offer of this relationship that we partake of when we come on bended knee at the manger and the altar and call upon Him with our every need.  No matter if it is sickness of the body, the soul or the spirit, God in Jesus Christ coming in the manger came to carry our burdens for each and every one of us.  Jesus Christ carried all our burdens right to the Cross of Calvary and offers each of us the personal relationship with Him and the promise of life and salvation for all of mankind.  This offer of relationship comes from a stable full of animals surrounding Joseph and Mary and a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in a manger.  For Jesus Christ came into the World to have a personal relationship with all of mankind, especially all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel on bended knee around the manger this Christmas Eve.  AMEN.
//trial script