Tag Archives: Luke 2

Sermon teaser ~ No Peace but Peace

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. [Matthew 10:34]

Of all of the head scratching things Jesus has said this is perhaps the head scratchiest of them all. I have not come to bring peace? That doesn’t sound like Jesus, right? I mean, he is the Prince of Peace, right? In John 14 he said, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. In Luke 2, the angels sing, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! Everything we know about Jesus is one of peace. I feel at peace when I am near him. I feel at peace when I am in the Word. I feel at peace when I am praying. I think many of you could say those things as well. So, what is Jesus saying here; Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. That is what we need to explore. After all, if we are going to go out and make disciples of all nations, we had better get the message right because there are many that do not. Jesus did not come to bring peace to earth…but…he did bring peace. The issue at hand is this: What kind of peace did Jesus bring?


I can hardly wait to dive into this text 🙂

All praise and glory be unto God the Father through Christ Jesus my Lord.

The Pastor -|—

Change

And going into the house they (The magi) saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. [Matthew 2:11-12]

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. [Luke 2:20]

And Jesus said to him (Bartimaeus, who used to be blind), “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. [Mark 10:52]

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he (Jesus) saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Jesus [Matthew 4:18-20]

What do all these texts have in common? It’s OK, you can go back and read them again. I’ll wait…

[Cue Jeopardy theme]

…waiting…

…waiting…

…did you see it?

In all these situations/encounters, the people leave changed. They encountered Jesus and they are changed. The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God. The Magi returned by another way (and I would say figuratively as well; meaning THE Way). Bartimaeus listened to Jesus and went “his way” which happened to be the way of Jesus. Peter and Andrew meet Jesus and when invited/commanded to follow, they dropped everything and followed.

And it makes sense, really. I mean, how does one meet Jesus and not be changed? How does one encounter the Son of God and return to your former way of life? How does one hear, “I love you and I forgive you” and say “That’s nice“? How does one receive the Gospel and not say anything about it?

Jesus changes people.

And so I am lead to conclude that if you are not making your way the way of Jesus then maybe you haven’t met Jesus yet. If you are not proclaiming the Gospel through word and deed then maybe you haven’t received it yet. If you are just going with the flow of culture then maybe you haven’t been confronted by the Son of Man. For you see, when the Good News of Jesus Christ takes hold of you, it takes hold of you. I am not saying that you will be perfect in your following but at least you will know where to turn when you do fall. You will care about the fact that you sinned against God and therefore will seek reconciliation through the blood of the Lamb. Repentance will be your desire. Holiness will be your goal. Worship of God Almighty will be your life.

Jesus changes people.

Therefore I can’t imagine peering into that manger stall without being blown away by the love that had just entered the world through a tiny baby. I can’t imagine standing face to face with Jesus and not dropping everything to be near him. I can’t imagine being powerfully healed by Jesus and not shouting “Alleluia!” for all the world to hear.

Jesus changes people.

I look at what is going on in the world and it saddens me but I am not angry with people. I am not angry with our government. I am not angry with our leaders. I am just saddened because I am part of an institution that has not done enough to introduce people to Jesus. But instead of just sitting here feeling sorry for myself, I need to do a better job of introducing/proclaiming Jesus.

~ Being more bold in my faith
~ Being more bold in practicing forgiveness
~ Being more bold in encouraging people
~ Being more bold in calling people to repentance
~ Being more bold in advocating for the Word of God
~ Being more bold…(God, You fill in the blank)

Change me, oh God, to be who You need me to be for the sake of the Gospel.

Meet Jesus and then “go your way“; following the one who has redeemed you from your sin and show people the love our your Savior. Let the Holy Spirit work through your life and give praise and glory to God our Father.

Let Jesus change you that he may change the world.

Holy Father, send Your Spirit to change people. Send Your Spirit to embolden people. Send Your Spirit to save people. And in the end may Your children praise and worship You. Glory be to You, oh God, through Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Still Christmas

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. [Luke 2:20]

It’s still Christmas. And I’m not talking about being in the midst of the 12 days of Christmas. It’s still Christmas in the sense that the Good News of Christmas is still Good News and always will be. I don’t imagine the shepherds glorifying and praising God only for a season. I imagine it continued on and on. They saw and heard amazing news. They gazed into the face of salvation. They had their lives turned upside down (or in terms of my Christmas sermon, “messed up”). I mean, how does one get sick and tired of news like this:

Jesus was born for you that you may know God and therefore everlasting life.

That is amazing!
That is awesome!

A season is not enough time to share the Good News of Jesus for there are many who have not heard. And for those who have heard, we often forget. So continue on your way, like the shepherds, glorifying and praising God for all you have seen and heard.

Praise be to God, always and forever, Amen!!!

The Pastor -|—

Morning devotions ~ Peace Among Us

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” [Luke 2:14]

When Jesus was born…
~ The Roman empire didn’t suddenly fall.
~ Wars didn’t stop.
~ Hunger didn’t vanish.
~ Poverty didn’t disappear.
~ Diseases weren’t instantly cured.
~ World peace was not achieved.

None of these things happened, but peace did appear. And it appeared in the midst of this stuff. People often wonder and question:

If God is so loving then why is there war? Disease? Death of the young? Etc…

If these things exist then God can not. That is silly rationale and something that does not see or understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact of the matter is that Jesus came in the midst of a fallen world (among it) to redeem creation from sin. Jesus came to save you. When Jesus was born, the very thing the angels sang about happened:

Peace came among us

And with that peace among us ~ Jesus ~ we can have the strength to face conflict, disease, hunger, death and anything this world throws at us; knowing that God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, has overcome this world by defeating the last enemy: Death. And our peace is that through faith in Jesus we too have overcome this world.

So live at peace is this chaotic, messed up world and hold onto the hope of the resurrection. Be at peace and sing with the angels:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Praise be to God!

The Pastor – |—