Over the last few sermons Ifve
Christmas and in a way I will continue today. We spoke of the great
the wonder of Adonai the Lord God the King of Kings coming to be with
spend time with us on our level so we would not follow him out of fear
of love. He came to make a way that both he and we may know that our
him is true. We talked next of the long wait we have and the patience
we will need to allow us to carry on and be prepared for his return,
the next Christmas.
Finally we spoke of the practical example set for us by God, the
we can hive at Christmas and all the year long, the gift of
spending time with people. Today we are going to go a bit beyond the
Jesus of Nazereth to his birth as the King of Kings and to his birth
he was incarnated to become gthe Christh
Let me stop at this point
because to make a
point to ensure that no one becomes confused and to set the record
common culture has often infiltrated our faith and has led us into
things in a way they never happened. Kind of like the fact that gPlay
Samh was never actually said in Casablanca
but that is what we remember. The stories of the bible have also been
it such a manner. The one that stands out most at this time of year is
nativity with Joseph Mary Jesus the Shepherds, angels, and three wise
the east all together. Of course this wasnft really the case at all.
men came after the manger and we donft actually know if there were
could have been two there could have been twenty. But proximity of the
and simplification led us to join two stories together that are in fact
Another is the Common use of the term gJesus Christh which may be fine
Christian circles but it is meaningless to those outside. Ifm sure if
must non-Christians gwhat is the family name of Jesush?, they will
his family name was Christ. Jesus born of Joseph and Mary Christ. His
Jacob Christ. You may think it is funny but it isnft. I spent a good
hour explaining this to someone just the other week. What we should be
at the least is Jesus pause Christ to separate the two and formalize
a title such as Suzuki bucho. Or better yet Jesus the Christ or in the
form Jesus the Messiah, For the word Christ is simply the Hebrew word
translated to Greek. Let us start the new year correcting ourselves on
point and Remember to Give Jesus his proper title as Savior. The thing
those who do not believe should not really be using the term at all for
not believe yet that Jesus is their personal savior and thus Christ.
This is a
term reserved for Believers. Non-believers should be using a title that
portrays their true feeling so as simply Jesus of Nazareth or just
constant use of the term Jesus Christ has watered down the title and
watered down the truth of who he was, who he is. He is Jesus the
Messiah, the Christ, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.
Lets go back to Christmas and
the manger to
Remember that it was the
shepherds who were
called to the manger to see the babe. They were called because of who
were. The were not the elite but the poor , the persecuted, insulted,
ones that Jesus speaks of in his sermon on the mount.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and
all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for
same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
These were the
first he called
to be with
him giving hope to all those who feel like they too are untouchables
nobody loves them. He reminds them that they are loved by him
is the celebration
shepherds of the world
This brings us
to our next
weekend we celebrate the Epiphany actually it was yesterday January 6th
but this is the first Sunday after the epiphany. The Epiphany which
manifestation, showing or enlightenment. It marks Christ manifest
earth God incarnate the word manifest the spirit manifest. The presence
in our realm. It brings us back to those three or more wise men or magi
spoke of earlier the ones that were misplaced in the stable. The Magi
east, after studying the prophets, learned that The Kings of the Jews
was to be
born and that they were to lay presents before him for he was not to be
the king of the Jews but the king of kings, The Lord over all. These
followed a star often referred to as the Epiphany Star which led them
and they laid
their gift of homage before Christ. Where this exactly took place we do
know but many say that it probably took place at the relatives of
being the home
of his family. So if we read this correctly The first to come to Jesus
shepherds whom we talked about last sermon, the outcasts the poor the
persecuted, the next were the outsiders, the gentiles, the heathen, The
Now It is often said there were three magi one for each gift and that
magi were in fact kings. But the three has also been said to symbolize
entire human race through the three ages of man and the three racial
descended from the three sons of Noah (Shem, Ham and Japheth) Casper was the young beardless, ruddy
of Ham who brought frankincense. Melchior was the old white haired
of Shem who brought gold for the king. And Balthazar was a black
descendent of Japheth in his prime who brought myrrh. All three are
traditionally said to be kings which makes Jesus the King of Kings and
his rule over all the earthfs people no matter what race or what age.
this is just from tradition and I hope you will remember that
and the story of
search for the King can reveal much to us and instruct us as we enter
It reminds us
to refocus on the
set our path by the light that is Jesus Christ for he said in John 8:12
"I am the light of the world.
follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of
While I am in the world, I am
the light of
I have come into the world as a
that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
ourselves on the
light we may
reflect the glory of God as Moses did
When Moses finished speaking to
put a veil over his face.
But whenever he entered the Lord's presence to speak with him,
removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the
Israelites what he had been commanded,
they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the
over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
We are to become the light
reflection of Jesus on our Lives
As he reminds
us in Matthew
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead
it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may
good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your
body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is
See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.
Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of
it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on
Paul was more
called to be a
light to the very people the magi symbolize- The gentiles.
"'I have made you a light for
Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'"
reminds us to
search for Jesus in the word of God seeking revelation as the magi
is a time for us to rededicate ourselves to not only reading the bibles
digging through it eating and digesting it.
reminds us of Hope
and a new
dawn breaking as it is celebrated at winter solstice. The movement from
long night to the long day.
Epiphany reminds us
servants of the King, the King whom himself came not to be served but
This he reminds us of in
Not so with you. Instead,
whoever wants to
become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be
be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but
and to give his life as a ransom for many."
reminded that we are his
his body and that we are to serve other to glorify him.
is the celebration
gentiles who God loved, Whom with the Jews, the King of Kings was
The next point
I would like to
brings us to next week or January 13th which is the
celebration of the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. This is when
starts his ministry This is when he reveals himself as the son of God
Christ the Messiah. It is at this point that the Holy Spirit comes down
him and the trinity is brought together. We read of the spirit coming
Christ like a dove. Again this alludes to the idea of Epiphany or the
God manifest. We to may receive this manifest presence of God. He may
in our Churches our homes our cities. We are reminded to pray for the
presence of God as was seen on Pentecost
Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will
prepare your way"-- "a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare
the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'" And so John
came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of
the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the
went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in
the Jordan River. John wore clothing
made of camel's hair,
with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild
this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the
thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I
with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." At that time
Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and
baptized by John in the Jordan.
As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open
Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:
are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." At once the
sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days,
tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Jesus reminds us to once again be filled with the joy of our own
remember how we burned for Christ to remember how devoted we were and
to take a
careful look at who we are now and to push ourselves back to
ourselves to re-baptize ourselves not with water but with the Holy
back into our own ways but let us live the life of the reborn.
1-8 Now there was a man of the
Pharisees named Nicodemus, a
member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night
"Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one
perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with
him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one
can see the kingdom
of God unless he
again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus
asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to
born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter
of God unless he
is born of water and the
Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to
spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be
again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound,
cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with
born of the Spirit."
came to this
world for us. His call is for you whoever you are.
left behind. He is calling the Gentiles. He is calling the poor, He is
the Kings. He is calling you!!!!!
yourself to Him and He will work things in your life you never imagined
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my
opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my
just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the
yourself in us Lord.
Be present in
our lives in our hearts in our minds. Make yourself known to us and to
worship you Adonai, Lord of Lord King of Kings Christ Savior Messiah We
and glorify you.