November 29, 2020

The Radical Yes of Christmas

Passage: Isaiah 9:1-7, Malachi 3:1-5, Malachi 4:5-6, Isaiah 40:3-5, Luke 1:1-25, Luke 1:57-80, Luke 2:21-35, Luke 2:36-40
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For Israel, the four centuries since Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple had been yet another season of humiliation by foreign powers, the disgraceful influx of pagan Greco-Roman culture, the tainting of their cherished Jewish culture giving rise to an increased nostalgia for the Golden Era of King David. The breaking in of God’s Kingdom set in motion a whole string of radical, risky, no-turning-back commitments that continue in our day. From rural folk, to tradesmen, to the religious elite to the very head of the Roman government, Christmas disrupted everything firmly established, elating many, horrifying more, angering more still and had the audacity to ignore all efforts to stuff it back into the closet, into exile, into the tomb. Status quo be warned!

A. Radical Christmas _________________________

1. Isaiah 9:1-7
2. Malachi 3:1-5; 4:5,6
3. Isaiah 40:3-5

B. ‘Other’ Radical Christmas __________________________

1. Zechariah & ____________________________ & John – Luke 1:1-25, 57-80
2. Simeon – Luke 2:21-35
3. ________________________ – Luke 2:36-40

“It looked like God had forgotten them. No one was coming, it seemed. But then he came. You cannot judge God by your calendar. God may appear to be slow, but he never forgets his promises. He may seem to be working very slowly or even to be forgetting his promises, but when his promises come true (and they will come true), they always burst the banks of what you imagined. . . The Christmas message . . . doesn’t say ’from the world a light has sprung,’ but ‘upon the world a light has dawned.’ It has come from outside. There is light outside of this world, and Jesus has come from it to save us.”
from Hidden Christmas, Timothy Keller

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