Sermon Recap: LUKE 2

"The rightful King of the world in a feeding trough" ... 

We hope you were able to join us in one of a few ways on Sunday as Pastor Steve led us through Luke, chapter two. Here we learn that the fulfillment of the birth of our Savior is upon us. The shepherds watching their flocks in fields were greeted by an angel of the Lord who proclaimed the news and where to find him. Once the angel departed, the Shepherds found Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus lying in a manger, and upon seeing him began telling others what they heard from the angel who said, "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord", (Luke 2: 10-11). When Mary heard what the Shepherds were declaring, we read that she holds these words in her heart. The ESV (English Standard Version) uses the word, ponders. She is contemplating, mulling this over. What exactly is she mulling over?

If we go back to Luke 1, Mary is greeted by Gabriel, an angel in the presence of God, who tells her she will become pregnant with a son and of his kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1: 33). Mary responds, let it be me. Do you remember this? When Mary comes face to face with an angel of our God in Heaven who proclaims what seems like an impossible feat, a virgin birth, she willingly and humbly stretches her faith. Let it be me. And now here is the Son promised to her. Here is good news for all people by the life of this baby. Her baby. The rightful King of the world in a feeding trough.

Some time later, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem according to the Law of Moses for purification. Old Testament purification was an act of cleansing. A common practice today is water baptism for those coming to faith or renewing their faith. It is a visual practice of Christ washing away our uncleanliness and restoring us with His purity. The Old Testament Law of Moses required purification in the same way but did not have the birth of Jesus fulfilled. There was a righteous man named Simeon who claimed a revelation that he would not see death until he had witnessed the Lord's Christ (Luke2: 26). As Mary and Joseph brought Jesus in, Simeon held him, blessing God:
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2: 29-32). 

Mary and Joseph were amazed at what they heard. At this point, they had heard from an angel of God, witnessed what the Shepherds had then heard and proclaimed, and then were the actual birth parents of Jesus. I am amazed that they were still amazed! As Simeon blessed them, he said this to Mary:

"Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2: 34-35).

An opposing sign. Is this what Mary already knows? Is this what she begins to ponder in her heart? Before Simeon. Before the purification. Before she witnesses Jesus asking questions in the temple after the Feast of the Passover. Opposition. A clash of Kingdoms. One Kingdom ruled by Caesar with the purpose of pride and his own protections. The other, a kingdom of good news for all people with freedom and hope in the midst of chaos and disorder.

As a mother of three, I believe that God has given us moms (sorry dads) a type of guttural instinct. It's the mom gut and not the kind we want to get rid of. It's powerful. There is something in us that screams when a diagnosis is needed or incorrect. We know stranger danger like we know our baby's heartbeat. It is in us. A part of us. Mary pondered the words. The piercing sword would be through her own soul as Jesus would eventually hang on the cross for her. The Kingdom of Good News would also be met by great grief. She stood amazed because she knew her Jesus was the Savior for all people. For us. For all of us.

To read ahead, we'll be in Luke 3 this Sunday. If you were unable to attend Sunday service, you can watch it on YouTube.

And as always, if you would like to speak to a Pastor, please call our office at 209-532-1381. 
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