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Monday, January 4, 2016

01032016 Second Sunday After Christmas Sermon

January 3, 2016
Christ Came to Serve!

Our culture today has completed the holidays quickly, as usual in record time.  Most decorations are put up, put away and hardly a trace can be found of any festivities.  But we who gather here today need to remember a simple message that comes after Christmas.

We still have the Christ in the manger, the tree is still lit, the decorations still adorn some of our homes.  But the child we find here in the manger, Jesus Christ has one thing He will do and do well here on earth.  Jesus Christ came to serve!

Simply, like a laborer for a farmer, a cashier at Wal-Mart or a service man at John Deere, Jesus Christ came to serve you and me.  Jesus Christ came to serve us in a way that no One else could ever complete.  Jesus Christ came to serve us as our Savior.

The shepherds heard the Angels proclaim the greatness of God and ventured from outside the city into Bethlehem and found in the manger the Christ Child.  Just as the shepherds insured the safety of their sheep the Child they came on bended knee and found would insure in His lifetime their eternal safety.  And not only their eternal safety, but ours as well.

We have gathered as a family to worship on Christmas Eve, ate meals throughout the holidays, celebrated the ringing in of the New Year and enjoyed each other's company.  Yet, now, we gather with a reality that Jesus Christ came to serve us, not just in a lowly manger, but as the Christ child foretold in sacred story.

We come to not only celebrate The First Noel, but as well sing with the angels "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing".  For in the stable, in a manger, wrapped in swaddling cloths is a Child.  A Holy Child, Jesus Christ, Who though He looks weak, frail and unable to do nothing but nurse, comes with a Holy message.  A message we receive not only at the foot of the manger, but that we receive from the Altar this morning.

Jesus Christ came to serve us.  Jesus Christ came to offer us His precious Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins.  Jesus Christ came to go to the Cross in order to remind us of how our sins through our baptism into His life, death and resurrection are washed away and forgiven with the declaration of the Forgiveness of Sins.  Jesus Christ came to offer us life and salvation and when we come to the Altar this morning, we receive, not simply Bread and Wine, we receive the gift of grace that offers us eternal life of Jesus Christ True Body and Blood.

There is no greater gift than one can serve another.  Whether as a service mechanic, a stock boy, a teacher or especially in the military of giving one's life in service to our country.  Service is exactly why Jesus Christ came into human history and why we come to celebrate Him and His gift of grace and sacrifice.  May His gift, found first in the manger, then in His life, death and resurrection remind us of God's grace that God freely offers in service to us today as we come and proclaim with all the angels, "Glory to the newborn King!"  AMEN.

Rev. Darian L. Hybl
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