Sermon Summary for Sunday, December 11th, 2016 | Respectfully Submitted by Mal Underwood
Mother Mary’s Advent 3 message centered around words – words of the scripture readings, words describing our Heavenly Father and his coming to earth, words of our experience of living in faith. She began by reminding us of that for which we are waiting in this season of Advent:
1. We wait for the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior
2. We wait for the presence of God Incarnate among us
3. We wait for His coming again
In the Gospel lesson, the imprisoned John the Baptist wasn’t so sure that the Jesus of whom he was hearing was “the one.” So he sent disciples to inquire if he was the one who was to come, or were they to wait for another. Jesus’ replies emphatically to tell John that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me. Then in a wonderful act of affirmation, Jesus tells the assembled crowd that among those born of women, no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. He thereby not only affirms John’s position in the faith, he also confirms his own position as God Incarnate through his intimate knowledge of heaven.
How do we experience God’s presence with us in our time? Is he confined to small descriptions and spaces? Or is he the God of the Cosmos, creator of the universe and omnipresent in all places and times - the great Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit? We the church are his body in the world until his coming again. As those who in Jesus’ ministry on earth experienced his love, forgiveness, wisdom, and grace, how do guests who visit our church experience him? Do they find those qualities in the current body of Christ? We the body are to emulate his life as best we can so that we become the channels of his mercy and grace in the world, and those who see us know that God is at work in our church.
Mother Mary closed with the words of the reading from Isaiah. The coming of the Lord brings much in which to rejoice – the blossoming desert, streams in the wilderness, strengthened hands and knees, the lame leaping like a deer, and speechless tongues singing with joy. And finally, the highway we all long to take, that Holy Way where the unclean shall not travel but only the redeemed shall walk there, where everlasting joy shall be upon their heads.