Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, December 21, 2014

Even as Christians we are drawn to worldly power. That may be why it is possible that there can be such a thing as an ‘all star’ preacher or pastor. Often times these pastors can rise to prominence not because of the message they proclaim, but because of their gifts and abilities as a communicator. As Christians we look around and we believe the world’s lie about what power is and who is winning. We think in order to be relevant in this world we need someone to lead us who is powerful externally. They must have that ‘it’ factor that draws people in whether it is their looks or there quick speech. This mindset is similar to the mindset of 1st century Jews living in Palestine. They were looking for a messiah, someone who would save them. However, they did not fully understand God’s word. They were looking for the messiah to be a powerful political leader or maybe someone who could lead them militarily throughout the world. 

What we read in the gospel of Luke is how God actually revealed himself as the messiah which was radically difference than anyone’s expectations and it sets the precedent for the message which we proclaim to the world. In Luke 2:11 an angel of the Lord appears to shepherds that were keeping their flocks and tells them that a savior is born in Bethlehem and he is Christ the Lord. This is a proclamation of the coming savior of the world, the great magnificent savior. However, just a few verses earlier we read about this birth. This savior was born as a lowly baby and first laid in a manger because there was no room in the inn. There seems to be a disconnect in the actual event and the proclamation because if he was a true savior according to the world he would be born in a castle and would be surrounded by guards, riches and royalty and yet he is not even allowed in a lowly inn as he is born in a somewhat obscure city. Our Lord humbled himself in this way in that as the creator of the world he became an infant in a manger.

This is the Lord that we proclaim. Jesus lived a life of humility and sacrifice which is seen most clearly as he died on the cross. This is the message we proclaim. A lot of Christians struggle with telling others about the good news, myself included. We may struggle because we want a message that has worldly power instead of gospel power. We may be ashamed of the gospel because we think people will laugh at us or mock us. This most likely will happen, but what we fail to grasp is that the gospel is the power of God and he even uses it to shame the strength and wisdom of the world. We must get this foundational concept of the good news of the gospel, that it is the power of God to save sinners. We too were once alienated from God and hopeless and we were reconciled. The more fully we understand our own salvation and the power that lies in the gospel to save others we will no longer be ashamed, but enlivened to tells other about our Savior and how he came into the world to save sinners just like you and me.  

THE WORD

Scripture: Luke 2:8-18
Sermon: The How of Missions: Him We Proclaim

SONGS

Infant Holy Infant Lowly
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As With Gladness, Men of Old (arr. Traditional)
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Angels From The Realms Of Glory
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Away In A Manger
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Song of Preparation: [Song]  While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks  (arr. Andrew Peterson)
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Song for the Supper: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent (arr. Traditional)
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Song of ResponseSong of Response: Angels We Have Heard On High
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