Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review - Sunday October 21st: Joy to the World!

Review of Lord’s Day: October 21st 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
Luke 2:1-38

My take on Sunday's Sermon at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

There are many ways to wait for something.  We find ourselves waiting in boredom or anticipation depending on what we're waiting for.  There are two ways to wait; in idleness or in anticipation.

- Seek the peace of God
- Find God's peace in Jesus
- Wait for the coming of Jesus

There are two types of peace, the peace of the earth which is brought about by the sword and the peace of heaven brought by God through Jesus Christ.  The earthly and temporal peace and the heavenly eternal peace.  Romans 13 is a passage which clearly lays out the earthly peace that God allows us to enjoy. In modern parlance; if you don't obey the police sooner or later you'll be shot or zapped. But greater than the earthly peace is heavenly peace which comes through Jesus Christ. This was a major theme in the announcement of the first advent of Christ - that He would bring peace to those with whom he is pleased.  But this is not for Jews alone.  This is a peace "for all the people" (v10) and "a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." (v32)

Jesus brings a heavenly peace but this has the effect of intensifying the war on earth as He becomes a point of division among families and friends.  The thoughts of many hearts are revealed when the true spirit of Israel is shown, for the most part, to be following the world rather than following God.  John 19:15 the chief priest declares "we have no king but Caesar" and who would have thought that this heart disposition would be revealed so clearly because the infant born in Bethlehem?  The suffering of Jesus clearly began when He left his Father in heaven and took the form of a man. Jesus put himself under the law as if He was a sinner.  He took the sign of circumcision and submitted to the law as if he were under the law and not the originator of it. He was born amongst the animals and laid in their feeding manger. And He did it for us.

The war has two fronts 1) man is at war with God and 2) Christians are at war with the world the flesh and the devil.

Simeon and Anna were waiting for the first advent but we wait for the second. The manner in which the waited can be instructive to us as we wait for Jesus to return again. They were not waiting in complete leisure.  They were busy about the work of serving God and telling others that everyone should be waiting with anticipation just as they were.  But this kind of waiting is fulfilling. More so than trivial pursuits and short-lived pleasures. We were created to be satisfied by a relationship with an infinite God.  So when we seek to be satisfied by finite individuals or pleasures of this world we are always going to be left feeling empty.  This often leads to a behavior pattern which seeks more and more of a particular earthly joy leading to a downward spiral.  But when we find our pleasure in an infinite God we also are led to seek more and more of God.  The difference is that with Our infinite God there is always more and more beauty for Him to reveal to us.  Like a flowing spring that is always gushing forth, our God is always there to meet with us and refresh us with Himself.  And in this way we can truly be satisfied.

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