Sermon Transcript – How Could We Not Rejoice?

Series B – Third Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 13, 2020 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:28the holy gospel according to saint john
0:30the first chapter
0:39there was a man sent from god whose name
0:42was john
0:43he came as a witness to bear witness
0:45about the light that all might believe
0:47through him
0:48he was not the light but he came to bear
0:50witness about the light
0:51and this is the testimony of john when
0:53the jews sent priests and levites from
0:55jerusalem to ask him who are you
0:58he confessed and did not deny but
0:59confessed i am not the Christ
1:01and they asked him well what then are
1:03you elijah he said i’m not
1:04are you the prophet he answered no so
1:07they said to him well who are you
1:09we need to give an answer to those who
1:10sent us what do you say about yourself
1:13he said i am the voice of one crying out
1:15in the wilderness
1:16make straight the way of the lord as the
1:18prophet isaiah said
1:20now they have been sent from the
1:21pharisees and they asked him well then
1:23are you baptizing if you are neither the
1:25Christ nor elijah nor the prophet
1:27john answered them i baptize with water
1:30but among you stands one you do not know
1:32even he who comes after me
1:34the strap of whose sandal i am not
1:36worthy to untie
1:37these things took place in bethany
1:39across the jordan where john was
1:42this is the gospel of the lord in the
1:44name of Jesus
1:46in the gospel of john we have this
1:48wonderful opening this concept of
1:51we who are in sin are in darkness
1:54and that Christ is the light of the
1:56world and the light has now
1:57shone and broken forth into the world
1:59and we have the confession of john the
2:02basically saying i am not the light
2:05i have come to testify about the light
2:08now all of that being said you all may
2:11i’m a photographer by hobby i guess
2:15probably the best way of putting it and
2:16i will say this photography is an
2:18interesting thing to engage in because
2:21it’s all about photographing light
2:24it’s all about the light if you think
2:26about it in fact some of the more
2:27obsessed and i would say even
2:30landscape photographers these are quite
2:33a hearty
2:33group they get up before the crack of
2:36dawn head out to
2:37their where the place that they want to
2:39photograph in their composition
2:41in the dead of night in the darkness and
2:44what ends up happening
2:45is an amazing thing if you would
2:49turns to what we call the blue hour the
2:52blue hour is that time
2:54when you have those really deep dark
2:57black blues and those begin to brighten
3:00slowly and slowly and slowly
3:03until you get the first glimpses of
3:06color and the first glimpses of color
3:09are these amazing
3:10pinks and they’re fantastic so here
3:13today today is the third sunday of
3:16it’s gotta sunday rejoice
3:19and so we’ll note we’ll take advantage
3:21of the fact that as we’ve been going
3:23through this advent season if you would
3:25a penitential blue hour
3:27we have been praying to god for an
3:31to for our pleas for mercy and
3:35god ate is god’s first glimpse of an
3:38of an answer think of it this way back
3:40in the day when people traveled on the
3:42where the only mode of propulsion was
3:46the wind sometimes ships would get
3:49themselves in trouble
3:51and they would end up in multi-day long
3:54and people would be praying praying for
3:57deliverance praying for salvation
3:59you see our sin is a lot like that kind
4:02of a storm
4:03where we don’t know if we’re going to
4:05make it and god is going to hear our
4:08but god at a sunday is that first cry
4:11that you hear from the crow’s nest
4:12where you hear land ho and you realize
4:16ah there’s a chance we may be saved
4:19that’s what god would say sunday is it’s
4:22an amazing
4:22thing and so with that i think it is
4:26appropriate that we take a look at the
4:28isaiah and just for good measure we’ll
4:30throw in a little bit of the prophet
4:32jeremiah thinking
4:33jeremiah does he have anything positive
4:36to say oh yes he does
4:37he has a wonderful thing to say and i
4:39think it’s quite appropriate for god to
4:41if you would so if you want to look on
4:44we’re looking at our old testament text
4:46from isaiah
4:47and i want you to think of it this way
4:49remember Jesus’s inaugural sermon his
4:52inaugural sermon is the sermon on the
4:54and he begins with the beatitudes
4:56blessed are the who
4:58the poor in spirit now if you’re not
5:01sure who those folks are
5:02believe me you’re one of them but the
5:04idea is for us to recognize that the
5:06poor and spirit of those who say i got
5:09i haven’t got a penny in my pocket that
5:12i can offer to god in exchange for my
5:15when i look at my life in light of god’s
5:18law in his ten commandments his holy law
5:20i realize that his law is holy and i am
5:24far far from that and so you’ll note the
5:27ravages of sin
5:28it creates in us all kinds of fear
5:32it creates in us all kinds of guilt and
5:34it ought to
5:35it makes us humble it drives us to our
5:40and we recognize that all of those
5:43thoughts that we have that we are the
5:45bee’s knees that we are the apple of
5:47god’s eye that somehow we’ve got our
5:49acts together it’s just
5:51a lie complete delusion
5:56and so you’ll note the poor in spirit
5:57are invoked here and then
5:59also remember what Christ says in that
6:01sermon blessed are those who
6:02mourn now this is not the mourning of
6:05people who mourn because they have lost
6:07a loved one that’s not what’s being
6:09referred to here
6:10what’s being referred to is the mourning
6:12of saying oh my goodness
6:14what have i done the morning of sin
6:17the morning and lament that goes along
6:19with recognizing that you have not
6:21measured up
6:22but note here then here’s the first
6:24colors of pink coming across
6:26the blue hour the first shimmerings that
6:29god has heard our prayers
6:31and that rather than giving us what we
6:33deserve he’s going to give us something
6:36the spirit of yahweh elohim is upon me
6:39because the lord has anointed me to
6:41bring good news to the poor
6:43and if you’re sitting there saying well
6:44these sound like familiar words didn’t
6:46read this text at one point and say it
6:48applied to him
6:49indeed he did and so think of this as
6:51the voice of Jesus these are red letters
6:54in isaiah
6:54the spirit of the lord is upon Christ
6:56and he the lord has anointed Christ
6:59to bring good news to the poor and he
7:02has sent
7:02Christ to bind up the brokenhearted
7:06to proclaim liberty to the captives the
7:09opening of the prison to those who are
7:12to proclaim the year of the lord’s favor
7:16the day of vengeance of our god and to
7:19all who mourn ah good news to the poor
7:22that’s me and you
7:23the brokenhearted yeah that’s us
7:27as well to proclaim to us liberty
7:31liberty freedom from slavery to sin
7:34the devil the dominion of darkness
7:37the prison of sin has been opened by
7:40because he has gone to the cross and he
7:43has defeated all of the forces of
7:45by bleeding and dying in your place and
7:47mine and now the prison doors are open
7:50and Christ has proclaimed that to you
7:52and he’s proclaiming to us the year of
7:55jubilee if you’re familiar with the
7:56mosaic covenant the year of jubilee
7:58happens every 50 years
8:00and every 50 years what’s supposed to
8:02happen on the year of jubilee
8:04the most amazing things ever all
8:07debts canceled all
8:11lost inheritance restored every
8:15slave set free it’s a picture
8:18of what the day when Jesus returns and
8:21what he gives to those who believe in
8:24to grant to those who mourn in zion to
8:27give them a beautiful headdress
8:30instead of ashes ah ashes i know what
8:32those are for
8:33in scripture over and again when people
8:35are brought to repentance
8:36there are two things that are mentioned
8:40and ashes these are the signs of the
8:44and so god takes the ashes that you have
8:46tossed onto your head
8:48in a display of your penitence
8:52and your sorrow and your grief over your
8:54sin and god takes those ashes and he
8:56dusts them off
8:58casts them aside and instead of giving
9:00you the whip or the scourge
9:02or the fires of hell he instead places a
9:05beautiful headdress
9:06on your head the oil of gladness instead
9:09of mourning the garment of praise
9:11instead of a faint spirit
9:13that all may be called oaks of
9:17now if you remember last week i talked
9:18about the fact that one of my former
9:21was so ingloriously reminding me that
9:24i’ve entered the third trimester of my
9:26thank you and of course the text that we
9:29were preaching on last week
9:30described all of us as what grass
9:33what a horrible awful thing but that’s
9:36the wages of sin
9:37death comes to us quickly but here in
9:40the new world that Christ
9:41is making the new world that Christ is
9:44the world that we will inhabit all who
9:47trust in Christ
9:48we are no longer described as grass we
9:51are described
9:52as oak trees and those things i don’t
9:55know if you’ve noticed they can live a
9:57long long time the comparison between
9:59grass and oaks is a big comparison
10:02and note this is what Christ is
10:04promising all of us
10:05and then in that new world we will be
10:08called the planting of god
10:10and that god may be glorified and we
10:13will build up the ancient ruins
10:14we will write raise up the former
10:16devastations we
10:18will repair the ruined cities the
10:20devastations of many generations
10:22the derelict earth the consequences of
10:25we will have the supreme joy of
10:29it all in a world without end for the
10:33lord says i love justice i hate robbery
10:35and wrong
10:36and i will faithfully give them their
10:37recompense and i will make an
10:39everlasting covenant with them
10:41their offspring shall be known among the
10:42nations their descendants in the midst
10:44of the people
10:45and all who see them shall acknowledge
10:47them that they are the offspring
10:48yahweh has blessed i will greatly
10:51rejoice in yahweh
10:52my my soul shall exalt in my god
10:56why because he has clothed me in
10:59of salvation ah
11:03one of the pictures that’s so graphic in
11:05scripture of our sin
11:07is that our sin is well we talked about
11:09this a few weeks ago polluted garments i
11:12go into details on that but we recognize
11:16that sin is
11:17is always typified with filth with
11:20dirt with disgustingness
11:23and we recognize rightly when we look at
11:25our sin and recognize that we have
11:27soiled our garments with sin
11:28but Christ what he has done remember he
11:31has taken your sin upon himself
11:33on the cross and he has bled and died
11:35for all of that muck
11:37all of that ick all of that filth all of
11:40that filth was put on him
11:42and because it has been taken off of you
11:44and put on him and you are bled for and
11:46died for
11:47now instead you are clothed with
11:49garments of salvation
11:50and i would even argue that the garment
11:52of salvation is the very righteousness
11:54of Christ
11:55if our sin is a polluted garment then
11:58the righteousness of Christ is the
12:00garment of salvation
12:01and all of this he gives out of his
12:03great mercy and love
12:05and so he has covered us with the robe
12:07of righteousness
12:08and this robe of righteousness is now
12:10described in terms that i think we can
12:12all relate to
12:13as a bridegroom decks himself like a
12:16priest with a beautiful headdress
12:18and as a bride adorns herself with
12:20jewels no there’s not just one picture
12:22we all recognize that when people get
12:25they dress up i’ve seen it happen i’ve
12:28done it
12:28myself and we would even argue that men
12:31are looking their snappiest
12:33yeah i kind of said it that way when
12:34they’re wearing that tuxedo
12:37and they’ve had their hair done and they
12:39are waiting for their bride to come down
12:42the aisle oh
12:43they look fantastic but then just when
12:45you think they’re looking spectacular
12:47in comes the bride and everybody stands
12:52and of course i can’t help but i always
12:54cry because
12:55oh a woman is never more beautiful than
12:58on that day
13:00when she is wearing that gown it is just
13:03fantastic it is amazing and so you’ll
13:06recognize here that that’s the picture
13:08of our everyday clothes in the new earth
13:12always beautiful always be decked always
13:14at our snappiest always
13:17that’s the picture of salvation it’s an
13:20ever lasting ooh
13:23dapperness in beauty that’s the amazing
13:27thing no more t-shirts
13:29no more slovenly dress no more
13:32levi’s with holes in them and shorts and
13:35hairy legs and never mind i’m going too
13:38far but you get the idea
13:40that’s the idea now as the earth
13:43brings forth it sprouts as the garden
13:45causes what is sown in it to sprout up
13:48so the lord god will cause righteousness
13:50and praise to sprout up
13:51before all the nations and isaiah has
13:54spoken well what a
13:55wonderful text one that indeed gives us
13:58something to rejoice over
14:00but in my typical way let me just go
14:02over the top let’s throw a little
14:04jeremiah in for good measure shall we
14:06in jeremiah chapter 31 you’ll note if
14:09you’ve read jeremiah recently if you
14:11follow the one-year lectionary from the
14:13treasury of daily prayer you’ve read
14:14jeremiah in the month of november
14:16and jeremiah is the weeping prophet he’s
14:19the guy
14:19that god tasked with prophesying to
14:22rebellious israel he was the last
14:24prophet before they were sent into exile
14:27and in already by chapter 31
14:30well the worst has happened god has
14:32acted in judgment
14:33few have survived off they have gone
14:36exile and so this last portion of the
14:39prophet isaiah
14:40is always in the context of either the
14:44destruction of jerusalem or the
14:45destruction of jerusalem that has
14:48happened and so we note that in jeremiah
14:51god has sent a letter an epistle of
14:55to the exiles to assure them that what
14:57he means for them is good and not their
15:00and in chapter 31 we are building off of
15:03this picture now that god has given to
15:05the prophet jeremiah
15:06to tell us of what is to come to give us
15:10comfort to give us something to hope for
15:12something to rejoice and again that
15:14glimpse of pink color
15:16on the horizon just as we know that the
15:18sun is about to come up
15:20and here’s what isaiah what jeremiah
15:23at that time declares the lord i will be
15:26the god of all the clans of israel and
15:28they shall be my people and this is
15:30something we’ve got to take into
15:31consideration i preached on this
15:33on wednesday you sit there and go well
15:35god’s going to be the clans of all the
15:36people of israel listen to me
15:38only israel is saved but don’t fret
15:40because we’ve all been grafted into
15:42israel everybody who is in Christ
15:44has been grafted into israel everybody
15:46who is in Christ and has the same
15:48faith as abraham is now a child of
15:51abraham so this is a promise for you
15:53which clan you’ve been sorted into i
15:55have no clue
15:56but that’s not the point you are in
15:58israel because Jesus
16:00is israel squished down to one person
16:02and you’ve been grafted into him
16:03remember he says i am the vine you are
16:05branches so thus says yahweh the people
16:09who survived the sword found grace in
16:11the wilderness
16:12when israel sought for rest yahweh
16:14appeared to him from far away
16:16i have loved you with an everlasting
16:19love and that’s the point
16:23salvation is because god has loved us
16:26for god so loved the world he so loved
16:30that he sent his only begotten son that
16:33including you believes in him will not
16:36perish but have everlasting life
16:38and so here we hear of the everlasting
16:41love of god
16:42therefore i have continued my
16:44faithfulness to you god says
16:46again i will build you and you shall be
16:49built and listen to these words o virgin
16:52israel now israel has been anything but
16:56virginal but we even talked about this a
16:58few weeks back talking about how in
17:00Christ because we are bled for died for
17:02we are renewed
17:04and our sin is taken from us we have
17:06been re-virginized
17:07can you do can you virginize somebody
17:09well god has virginized us
17:11all who are in Christ god declares them
17:13to be
17:14virgin israel again you shall adorn
17:17yourself with tambourines
17:18and shall go forth in the dance of
17:20merrymakers now i must point out that
17:22the second part
17:23of verse 4 of jeremiah 31 probably makes
17:26the norwegians nervous
17:28but they’ll just have to get used to it
17:31they’ll have to pick up a tambourine
17:33and do the merrymaking and the dancing
17:35they may be awkward
17:37at first but don’t worry they’ll get
17:39over the hump
17:40right again you shall plant vineyards on
17:43the mountains of samaria the planter
17:45shall plant
17:46they shall enjoy the fruit for there
17:49shall be a day when watchmen will call
17:51in the hill country of ephraim
17:53arise and let us go up to zion to the
17:56yahweh our god for thus as yahweh
17:58sing aloud with gladness for jacob raise
18:01shouts to the chief of the nations
18:03proclaim give praise and say oh lord
18:06save your people the remnant of israel
18:09what a great praise
18:10behold i will bring them from the north
18:14ah as far north as minnesota you know
18:17he’ll bring him from the north country
18:19gather them from the farthest parts of
18:21the earth
18:22among them the blind and the lame the
18:23pregnant woman and she who is in labor
18:25together a great company
18:27they shall return here with weeping they
18:30come and with pleas for mercy i will
18:33lead them back
18:35i will make them walk by brooks of water
18:38so you’re going to note here
18:39how does one return to zion how does one
18:42get to this new
18:43earth well they come as they are broken
18:47and sinful and they come in weeping
18:50and pleas for mercy and god is the one
18:53who leads them back i will make them
18:55walk by brooks of water
18:57hmm there’s a little brook of water
18:59right here
19:00the baptismal font you can kind of see
19:02the picture of what’s being painted here
19:04a straight path in which they shall not
19:06stumble i
19:07am a father to israel and ephraim is my
19:10firstborn so hear the word of yahweh o
19:13and declare to the coastlines far away
19:15say he who scattered israel he will
19:17gather him
19:18and he will keep him as a shepherd keeps
19:20his flock
19:21for the lord has ransomed jacob and has
19:24redeemed him from hands that are too
19:27strong for him
19:28in fact that is exactly what Christ has
19:30done you and i
19:31are incapable we are not strong enough
19:33to defeat
19:34sin death the devil the world
19:38even our own sinful flesh we are
19:42powerless to overcome these enemies but
19:45Christ has overcome them
19:47for us by laying down his life and he
19:50has ransomed us
19:51he has redeemed us from those strong
19:55and he has set us free so they shall
19:57come and sing aloud on the height of
20:00and they shall be radiant over the
20:02goodness of yahweh
20:03over the grain the wine the oil over the
20:06young of the flock and the herd
20:08their life shall be like a watered
20:10garden and they shall languish
20:12no more then shall the young women
20:16rejoice in the dance and the young men
20:20and the old will be married i will turn
20:22their mourning into joy
20:24i will comfort them and give them
20:26gladness for sorrow
20:27i will feast the soul of the priests
20:30with abundance
20:31and my people shall be satisfied with my
20:34goodness declares the lord
20:37there’s hope in the darkness of advent
20:41pink now has come across the sky
20:46there’s hope he’s heard our pleas for
20:48mercy and he has answered us
20:51with forgiveness mercy in a new world
20:54is it any wonder then that what that
20:56today the assigned
20:58psalm is psalm 126 here’s what it says
21:02when the lord restored the fortunes of
21:06we were like those who dream you see
21:09it’s that kind of that picture like
21:11what am i looking at this is too good to
21:13be true pinch me
21:15am i sleeping is this a dream but the
21:17reality is this that all of these good
21:19things that god has promised
21:21they are not a dream this is the reality
21:25of the day that we will wake up and when
21:27returns then our mouth was filled then
21:30laughter our tongue with shouts of joy
21:33and they said among the nations the lord
21:35has done great things for them
21:37the lord has done great things for us
21:40and we are glad so restore our fortunes
21:43o lord
21:44like streams in the negeb those who sow
21:47in tears shall reap
21:48with shouts of joy sow your
21:52sow your repentance with tears today
21:55Christ returns that sowing with the
21:58reaping of the shouts of joy
22:00he who goes out weeping bearing the seed
22:02for the sowing
22:03shall come home with shouts of joy
22:06bringing his sheaves with him
22:09rejoice in the lord always how could i
22:12again i say rejoice in the name of Jesus
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