Sermon 37 Dec 1, 2019
Series: “With God all things are possible” (aka “Expect the Unexpected”)
Readings: Exodus 30:1-10; Luke 1:1-25;
Texts: Ex 30:6; Lk 1:11 (quoted below)
Sermon: “The Advent (coming) of At-one-ment”
Put the altar in front of the curtain that is before the ark of the Testimony–before the atonement cover that is over the Testimony–where I will meet with you.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
Using the “Sesame Street” study technique (exploring what is the same in the various vignettes in Luke’s “Orderly Account” and what is different) we start to see other layers of meaning conveyed in the stories. Also, thinking of “echos” we see a connection to Old Testament prophecies and previous stories of amazing babies. This sermon pointed out the significance of the angel appearing to Zechariah at that place (by the atonement altar) with a combined message of a Messiah coming soon AND Zechariah and Elizabeth having a son in their old age. I touched briefly on how they kind of “represent” the whole nation not really “expecting” anymore.
The sermon ended with some reflection on how strong our awareness is that God has fulfilled past promises and has some yet to fulfill, for example restoring creation to wholeness, establishing the Kingdom of God on this earth, and returning in Glory. One of my closing lines was:
Our passage this morning says to us, don’t wonder, hope. Don’t doubt, believe. Don’t question God’s promises, accept them and act on them to live them out.
… Are we hoping for — and working towards — the day when these will be? Come Emmanuel, come. AMEN