SER # 47Wa
FIRST UMC – NEBRASKA CITY
COLOR: PURPLE – 2ND CANDLE
SUNDAY DECEMBER 6TH 2020
SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
TEXTS: LUKE 2: 8 – 12; MATTHEW 1: 20b – 21
THEME: THE SAVIOR
This is our second Sunday of Advent we light the candle of Peace. The peace that this candle represents is that peace which passes all understanding. It is the peace that God alone can give. It is the peace that human might experience in the midst of unrest in the world. It is the peace that people will experience in the midst of pandemic that is taking the life of many today called Covid-19. When our walk is challenged by the obstacles that we face, let us turn to Jesus who is the prince of peace. When the valleys seem so deep to go down and the mountain so high to climb let us turn to the prince of peace who makes a way where there is no way.
To help learn more about Advent this year we are using the book of Rev Adam Hamilton “Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas”; Abingdon press Nashville 2020. Our small group that is being led by Dr. Dean Thomson and Dr. Jon Habben are studying the same. You can join them through zoom of in person every Sunday at 8:30am in room 210 & 211.
This is our second Sunday we would like to study a sub title Jesus as the Savior and what that means in our faith Journey. As we reflect on Christ as the savior, we have to expand our understanding of what this means in our everyday life. We have come to believe that Jesus is the savior of our souls and it is true but the question is, did he come for more. Isaiah uses words like teacher, counselor, prince to describe this son of God. Let us try to explore some of the basic reasons why Jesus was born as a savior to the world we live today.
- Born to Save us from Ourselves: So often we get ourselves in difficult setting and we can’t get ourselves out. Some of the problems are created because of the human nature which tend to be weak and unable to fight the schemes of the evil one. A) Save us from self-centeredness: This is a problem where we become egocentric and what matters in life then would be I and myself. Jesus came to save us from this difficult sin which has taken our world even today. To some people before can give any help the question they would ask is, “What is there for me.” When people don’t care what happens to other people just themselves, we fall into this sin of self- centeredness. People will drive that which meets their interest at the expense of other people. This could be an ideology, could be money or anything else that they benefit from. B) Saved from state of hopelessness & despair: When hope is taken away from us, we find no more reason of going on living. Hope is the driver that keep us moving forward. We keep hoping for a better tomorrow. Jesus therefore come to save us from the state of hopelessness and point us to messiah who is our hope. When all ahead seem impossible like the Red sea in front of the Israelites and the Egyptians from behind pursuing we have to stand still and see God at work. For this God will provide a way where there is no way. C) Save us from a state Meaningless: With Jesus then life has a meaning. The meaning of life is not based on material accumulation or even worldly success but it is based on knowing that we are beloved sons and daughters of God and no matter what the world throws at us all shall be well. Our self-worth is from God not based on any other human approval. It also matters when you touch the life of the other person with some acts of kindness. Knowing that Jesus came and died for us then life has a meaning. Knowing that we have a value before God that add meaning to life. Salvation helps us to follow the path back that leads us to a life where we practice justice, demonstrate love, kindness and walk with humility with God. Micah 6:8. We learn again how to share blessing with the hungry, clothe the naked, have compassion for the sick, strangers and even those in prison (Isaiah 58: 6 – 10; Matthew 25: 35 – 45). Jesus brings the good tiding to all those who are willing to listen.
- Born to Save us & Deliver us from Evil: Rescue us. Jesus paid our debt in order to rescue us from the bondage of our sin. He died so that we might live a full life. Jesus came with a mission to makes sure that the devil has no hold on us. Jesus was born to give us freedom by his death. He was able to conquer death by his resurrection. Death does not have any hold on us anymore. It is like when Jesus came as a savior through his blood, he paid the debt that we owed, hence he bought us back. He bought us back from the world controlled by the acts of the devil. There is a whispering serpent that often visit us to lead us in the wrong direction. Like in the garden of Eden the serpent aims at creating doubt in our mind of what God requires of us. We remember the words of the serpent in the garden for they began like this, “Did God say………” that was meant to create doubt. Did God say that you love a neighbor who does not look like you, speak like you or did even God say you love a neighbor who is not very nice to you? When Jesus gave the two Commandments, he was very clear “Love God, and Love your neighbor as yourself” Jesus came to save us from sin. We sin when we miss the mark. This can happen when we ignore God teaching regarding our daily living or living a Godless life. Godly life means we care for others; for sick, homeless, elderly, and even for the marginalized in our community. We care when we practice justice and mercy. We care when we oppose racism and all other isms that does not a line with the will of God.
- Born to Restore Us: Original self. When God created Adam and Eve and all the creation, he said “it was good.” There is goodness in the original self that God created but we know that over time evil has taken apart that original self through the lies of the devil. Like in the garden the devil has not stopped whispering to our ears to create doubt or mistrust to God’s teaching. A) Savior reminds us that we have value: Our walk with God is special because through this walk, we are reminded that we are valuable children of God. This worth starts, with what I call self-worth. This helps to stand straight without fear or apology to anybody when it comes to our faith and to what God has put in us as his children. B) Savior buys us back: When we follow the ways of the devil he corrupts who we are and who we were meant to be. Jesus save us from the works of the devil that teaches us racism is fine, injustice is justified. C) Savior restores us: Like a painting that has lost the initial beauty Jesus come to save us and restores us to what we were meant to be. Children of God.