"The reason" Sermon / Matthew 1:18-25 / Pr. Lucas A. Albrecht / Sunday December 22nd 2019 / Season Of Advent / Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Text: Matthew 1:18-25
Theme: “The Reason”
Intr – During their lives many people come across with the need of having a daily prescription. This medicine may be not only pills and caplets, but also injections. One needs to take a daily shot in order to keep their health in check – as is the case for many suffering with diabetes for example.
There are other situations too. I have here with me a container full of more than a dozen syringes that were utilized in a situation where a mother had to take them to save her child’s life. It was not because of diabetes, but because of a type of trombophilia. Now we could be left wondering: why on earth would a human being, a woman, subject herself to have a daily shot applied to her? It means daily preoccupation, daily commitment to daily pain. You cannot skip it and it is certainly any pleasure for nobody (Explain the clinical reason).
But the reason why a woman would undergo this is twofold:
_She knows that what she carries inside her is already life;
_She has her eyes fixed further down the road, on the day she will have the baby in her arms, celebrating that moment of extreme joy. On that day no pain no more, only the joyful celebration of the birth of a son or a daughter.
Christmas is the celebration of the coming of the Messiah. God is with us here. Now, we might in the same manner ask: why?... Why would the Son of God subject himself to come to this world of suffering? He was perfect, he was God. He came to take a daily shot of what human life is like.
As a way to complicate things further, when He eventually becomes flesh the shots and possible pain thereof would escalate for His family too:
_Mary would have to explain how come she became pregnant before marriage. Her life was at stake.
_Joseph could be considered to have taken advantage of her. Now he wants to leave her secretly to attract the responsibility for Himself and spare her life. But the angel of the Lord assures him not to do so, for that was all according to the Plan of the Lord.
But here the reason for the son of God to become the Son of Man is also twofold:
_Because He brought life inside Him
_Because He had His eyes fixed further down the Road, on the Salvation he came to accomplish for every human being.
That is why Paul says in Romans 1: “To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” By faith in Christ’s work we are called to be saints, to being to Him, to live in Him and for Him
Now look at your walk of life, your life on this Earth. I am sure it is filled with either doubts, or sufferings, or anxiety or…what else? Perhaps a little of each; different kinds of painful “shots” that the devil, the world, and your own sinful condition has you undergoing. Sin sometimes makes us feel like we are a mere clump of cells, not actual human beings, wandering around on this Earth, as if we were disposable, making no difference to anyone. If we feel like that, perhaps even Jesus loses its meaning in our life – "after all, am I worthy of anyone sacrificing for me, let alone the Son of God himself?"
Jesus’ blood was poured out for us though so that through it we night receive nurturing, growth, new life. We are assured that just as the baby in the womb receives life and nurturing through the mother’s blood, in His blood we have life, nurturing, sacrifice, peace and salvation. In Him, and Him alone, we find the most complete reason to carry on, to keep walking, to keep believing and sharing this love for life with Christ is beyond the comfort or relief that any other feeling in life can provide us with. What He did on the Cross allowed us to be born into the family of faith, and there be fed by His Word and Sacraments to live a life where the shot of the evil one are nullified by His forgiveness and Grace.
Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Even when there are questions and doubts inside your mind. “Why wouldn’t I give up? Life’s so hard. Things don’t go the way they should. Is there a promising future ahead?” The reason for that is inside your heart, and, again, is twofold:
_We have life inside;
_We have our eyes fixed further down the road – to that day and place when the sufferings of this world will cease and the joy of eternal life will begin.
Jesus wants His blood to go through the umbilical cord of faith straight into our lives to nurture and strengthen us. To make our hearts rest assured that His nurturing will never fail, will never end; it will always be there.
The content of the words of the Angel to Joseph resound with us too:
_Do not fear to embrace the things in faith that may be crazy before the world’s eyes.
_It is to fulfill God’s Word and promises to our life too;
_Jesus has saved you from your sins;
_Jesus is still, and always will be, Immanuel – God with us.
Cc – Life may sometimes present us shots that hurt and make us cry. Still, Jesus is the baby in the manger, the Saviour in our hearts. He is the reason. He is our Hope. He is our life.