For every day/ Matthew 1:18-25; 1 John 4; Isaiah 7; Psalm 110 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Christmas Eve 2021 / Mount Olive Lutheran Church
SERMON NOTES (listen to the audio sermon for more)
Text: Matthew 1:18-25; 1 John 4:7-16; Psalm 110:1-4; Isaiah 7:10-14
Theme: “For Every Day”
Intr – (There are 97 Tim Horton’s coffee cups spread out around the Church. Each of them with a list of blessings from daily life) (Pastor brings a coffee cup to the Pulpit)
Many of us are coffee lovers. We like to have one every so often, or even more than one; or perhaps every day. Tonight there are spread around the Church 97 coffee cups. They are from the last so many months so since I started gathering them. Do you think it’s too much?... Perhaps you’d say your coffee cup line would be longer.
The first reason for having all these cups around us tonight is to illustrate that if you have one coffee a day probably won’t really realize how much you drink as when if you would have every single cup you had in a year in front of your eyes. That’s when you better realize the quantity and the impact of it in your life. If you are not a coffee lover, pretend it is tea. Or anything else you take on a regular basis.
Christmas is a night to celebrate and realize how much it was given to us: The Very son of God – Jesus. Now because it comes all at once in one date, or 12 days of Christmas; or maybe because there are 365 days in a year where all His blessings as spread out we don’t always realize the grandiosity, and at the same time the simplicity and every detail of it; how much is packed in it, and how much we can be thankful for tonight - and every day.
Now here is another, more important reason for all the coffee cups tonight. In each of these cups there are lists of God’s blessings that impact our life on a daily basis. Ninety-seven blessings in a list that could mount up to hundreds of thousands.
The readings for today were the starting point to help us fill these cups with the lists and to bring to mind God’s blessings that make a difference in our daily life.
Jesus miraculous conception – so he could be perfect God and Man to perfectly save us from sin.
Joseph and Mary’s obedience – so that God’s plan was carried through them.
The angels - they serve God and carry His message whenever sent by Him. These same angels continue to serve God in our behalf today.”
Comfort in fear and anxiousness – like the angel told Joseph in the midst of his turmoil. Like the Lord tells us today.
Saved from our sins – Can you imagine your sins being forgiven and forgotten? I know this is hard for you and me, because we remember what we did to others. Because we remember what people did to us. Isn’t it a great blessing to have a God that forgives and forgets? That’s good news from Christmas. Jesus comes to save us from our sins.
The Word fulfilled – here we have the Word of Isaiah. Also, here we remember all the daily sacrifices presented by Israel prefiguring Christ. If those were line up… thousands of miles would be covered. We have also Psalm 110, Nishbah Yahweh, God has sworn and will never turn back. He has made a memorial of his good works. Where do we have something we do in memory of Christ? Holy Communion
God always fulfills his promises – In your daily life when you wonder if God’s Word will come to fulfillment, look to the highly unlikely event of Christmas, from a human standpoint, to be reminded how God always works in the midst of what we would deem a mess, confusion or something that wouldn’t be possible.
Immanuel – God with us. God is not just an energy or an old bearded man, a punishing evil god made of wood and metal. He is a living God, and He is God with us in Jesus.
Birth of a baby – life is precious from conception to its natural end.
1 John 4 – Wraps up perfectly the gift of Christmas.
God is love - And all the good gifts that come from this reality that the fullest, most perfect expression of love we find in Him alone.
But after Christmas, you know, daily life weighs in. We don’t have all the lights, the candles and the message before our eyes. God’s blessings seem now to be diluted in daily doses that go in the mix of daily life struggles, wins and blessings, and go out of our sight, out of our gratitude.
Tonight is a night to remember that every night, every day, is filled with God’s blessings. The ones he already gave; the ones he continues to give; the ones that are a certain hope for the future.
As I said earlier, we have lists inside the ups totaling 97 daily blessings God bestows in our lives. Let’s remember some of these blessings as we reach another Christmas. (Selects a list from one of the cups).
As we go about in daily life, the message of Christmas, which is intertwined with the message of Easter, is there with us, for us, in us, for every day. For example, as we take a daily sip of coffee, and we know that the ground bean is nothing without water added to it, we might remember daily that our life ground under sin was made new with the water of holy Baptism. If something to eat comes with it, this might remind us of God’s food in his altar. Church and daily life go together.
Now, there’s a reason I chose this exact number, 97 cups. I could have set a round, perfect number like 100, right? Having 97 cups, an incomplete sum, reminds us that we are sinners, who fall short from God’s will, who are not thankful and faithful as we should. It reminds us that we depend totally on God’s grace to be faithful and complete in our work. He hands out the cup of his love, Mercy and Grace for every day. We receive it and are thankful to Him.
Some say that coffee is not just a beverage for the body, it is also for the soul, in the way it brings memories, coziness and reports us to good moments. Jesus is the real food our soul needs, the light in our path, the warmth for our heart. He is the One that both boosts and calms us. That makes us both more awake and makes us rest. The one that grinds sin under his cross and offers us fresh, warm forgiveness and peace to our hearts. For every day.
Cc – One last thing. As much as you like coffee, you probably only like it as long as it is… hot right? After so many minutes it goes cold, then you either reheat it or dump it. If you want have coffee, you need coffee to be constantly poured in your cup.
As you come to Church tonight to feed your faith and boost your will to serve God and your neighbor, don’t’ forget to stay close to the heat source to avoid going cold. Stay close to God in His Word, Sacraments, in everything. Stay close to Bethlehem, to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to the Word, to Immanuel, God with us, Christ.
The reasons for doing so? There are 97 x 97 of them. And counting.
 “Let your holy angel be with me that the evil foe may have no power over me”. (Martin Luther’s morning prayer)