Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

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Advent 4 – December 23 – Micah 5:2-5 “The Glory Of Christ’s Coming”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text for this morning is the Old Testament Lesson just read, Micah 5:2-5.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • All of the people elected to the presidency of our nation assume a very important place in human history.  It happened – they were elected, and they served our nation, and they accomplished many important things. They will be remember prominently for many years to come.  The same is true of other important world leaders.
  • However, all of them have only so long to serve, and only so long to live, and their importance, their power, their role and influence, all comes to an end.  That is the nature of earthly rulers who are but men, who are mortals.
  • It is of course different with God – He is eternal, and His rule is over all of creation, over the entire universe forever.  Now we might think it beneath His dignity to enter into human history – and as a man, but this is precisely what He did in sending His Son into this world: conceived as a single fertilized cell in the Virgin Mary, by the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, gestated nine months and born in Bethlehem, raised by parents in Nazareth, having a three year preaching ministry, and then crucified for the sins of the whole world as “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world,” buried for three days, and raised to life again in glory – to rule over all things as the glorious Messiah, Redeemer of the world, Lord of the Church, and King of all creation. 
  • And this is glory that continues – not for His sake, for His satisfaction, but rather for our great good and blessedness, for the wondrous blessedness of the whole world, for all people everywhere – to open the kingdom of heaven to all believers! 
  • It is history – and it is ongoing history that continues in consequence and blessedness to this very day, and this is why we celebrate “THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S COMING.” 

 

I.  The Conception And Birth Of Jesus Christ Begins His Reign Over The Church, The People Of God, His Kingdom Of Grace – Now As Both God And Man

 

Text:  “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One Who is to be Ruler in Israel.”

 

A.  This One Born In Bethlehem Is “The Ancient Of Days” – The Almighty Lord God, Creator Of All Things

 

Text:  “His origin is from of old, from ancient days.”

 

John 1:1-3, 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  . . . 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.”

 

B.  His Birth Initiates The Gathering And Creating Of His Glorious Church – As He Brings People Back To God

 

Text:  “Then the rest of His brothers shall return to the people of Israel.”

 

John 12 :32  “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself.”

 

Matthew 16:18 “I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

 

Statement:  These would be considered arrogant and audacious words, if spoken by any president or king or ruler, past or present – no matter how powerful or glorious they were.  Consider that they were spoken by One Who appeared to be nothing more than an incompetent, small, humble, meager itinerant preacher roaming around some backward, third-world territory of ancient Rome – a remarkable empire, but one that has fallen apart completely and is only remembered in history!   But this One – contrary to all appearances – was in reality “The Ancient of Days, the Almighty Word, the Creator of all things. He is a man, to be sure, but He is also God, the Almighty God and Lord over everything!

 

Application: And as you know, for He has drawn you to Himself and to His glorious church, He is also your Lord and Savior, your King and greatest Friend!  And He has fulfilled His promise abundantly – who could have envisioned the prevalence, the strength, and the pervasiveness of His church, His kingdom, throughout the world over the past centuries and to this present day?  Even in human terms, the strength of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, even though it has waned in recent years, is unimaginably immense!  But of course, it also has the strength and power and glory of God Himself! 

 

And you belong – you are connected to this great history and you are “making” this great history as part of the church for generations to come!  All of this because of “THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S COMING” that first Christmas in Bethlehem!  Though He appeared small He was in fact great and glorious; though we may appear to be small, we are His people, God’s people, and that makes us great and glorious! 

 

Transition:  This is not cause for arrogance and unseemly pride – for our great King and Lord and Savior has no arrogance or wicked pride!  However, we should not ignore or diminish the blessings that the Lord Jesus Christ brings to us!  For:

 

II.  The Ongoing Rule And Majesty Of The Lord Jesus Christ Grants Peace And Security To All Believers In Christ

 

Text:  “they shall dwell secure, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth.  And He shall be their peace.”

 

A.  It Is Jesus Who Now Shepherds Us In His Strength And Majesty

 

Text:  “And He shall stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the Name of the LORD His God.”

 

1.  We are shepherded in the glory of His love – His gracious mercy, forgiveness, and salvation

 

1 John 4:16  “God is love.”

 

John 3:16  “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 

2.  We are shepherded in the glory of His power and strength

 

a.  And He is great – “He upholds the universe by His Word of power. “ [Heb. 1:3]

 

b.  And we do dwell secure – to the ends of the earth

 

Matt. 28;20  “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

Rom. 8:28  “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

 

B.  For He IS Our Peace

 

Text:  “And He shall be their peace.”

 

1.  He is our peace with God

 

Rom. 5:1  “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

2.  He is our peace with one another

 

Col. 3:12,13  “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

 

3.  We are at peace and are secure, regardless of what our enemies may want

 

John 16:33  “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 

Statement:  It would be a great shame to have all of these blessings in place, and as reality, and yet not to recognize them, not to realize them, and not to benefit from them by believing them and rejoicing in them!  Imagine what it would be like for some American to go around thinking that his country was as weak and small and pitiful as some tiny nation that didn’t even have a military – fearful, quaking, intimidated by his shadow!   Not only would that be a terrible ignorance, but a horrible waste and denial of present blessings! 

 

Application:  It is the same for us when we forget “THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S COMING,” Who He is and what He has accomplished and what He is currently doing as Ruler of the world and LORD of the church!  We have peace and security as His blessings to us – in His gracious love, mercy, and forgiveness, AND ALSO in His awesome power, strength, majesty and glory!  These are the blessings that God has promised, has provided for us, and wants us to have as present possessions – that “shepherded” by the glorious Lord Jesus Christ Himself we may live confident, joyful, and beautiful lives dedicated to Him! 

 

Conclusion:  Present events involving people are accorded their proper place in human history.  Far more important events are occurring every day in the life of the church – under the glorious Lordship and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.  These will be the only things from history that really matter! 

 

All of these things are blessings for you – for your benefit and for your blessedness, so that you also may participate in that glorious history connected with the reign and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Ancient of Days, and our dear Savior!  This is the blessedness of Christmas, “THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S COMING.” 

 

May proper awe and rejoicing fill your hearts and minds, that we may all truly celebrate Christmas, “THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S COMING.”  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.