Sermon Transcript – When Heaven Meets Earth: Why?

1 Year Lectionary – First Wednesday in Advent – Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 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:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:27A reading from the gospel
0:29of luke chapter 1 starting at verse 26
0:34in the sixth month the angel gabriel was
0:37sent from god to a city of galilee named
0:39nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man
0:42whose name was joseph of the house of
0:44david and the virgin’s name was mary
0:48and she came to her and he came to her
0:50and said greetings o favored one the
0:53lord is with you
0:54but she was greatly troubled at the
0:56saying and tried to discern what sort of
0:58greeting this might be
1:00and the angel said to her do not be
1:02afraid mary for you have found favor
1:04with god and behold you will conceive in
1:06your womb and bear a son and you shall
1:08call his name Jesus he will be great and
1:12will be called the son of the most high
1:14and the lord god will give to him the
1:16throne of his father david and he will
1:18reign over the house of jacob forever
1:20and of his kingdom there will be no end
1:23and mary said to the angel how will this
1:25be since i am a virgin
1:27and the angel answered her the holy
1:30spirit will come upon you and the power
1:32of the most high will overshadow you
1:37therefore the child to be born will be
1:40called holy the son of god and behold
1:43your relative elizabeth in her old age
1:46has also conceived a son and this is the
1:49sixth month with her who was called
1:51barren for nothing will be impossible
1:53with god and mary said behold i am the
1:56servant of the lord let it be to me
1:59according to your word and the angel
2:01departed from her in the name of Jesus
2:06why it’s a question we ask a lot
2:09nowadays isn’t it why
2:12was there another school shooting this
2:16why are we looking at another set of
2:19lockdowns why omicron
2:21why do we treat each other so poorly why
2:24is there a homelessness problem
2:27why is it that we don’t get along with
2:29each other why do we gossip
2:32why do we lie
2:34why do we steal from one another and why
2:35do we hate
2:38when you start asking the question
2:41you’ll know that the question
2:43starts to make us uncomfortable
2:45especially when it comes to the subject
2:47of such questions because when we ask
2:50why in that context
2:53what are we trying to do
2:55place blame
2:57who who’s to blame for all of this
2:59mess that we find ourselves in who’s to
3:02blame for the suffering that you’re
3:03experiencing in your life who’s to blame
3:06for the covet pandemic
3:09who’s to blame
3:11for all the problems that we’re
3:12experiencing in the world
3:15and see when you start asking why and
3:17you want to start placing blame well the
3:20reality is this is that when you start
3:23playing that game
3:25it’s not long before somebody points the
3:27finger at you
3:28and asks the question
3:30why and it’s in that context then you
3:33know as we approach
3:35the celebration of the birth of our
3:37great god and savior
3:40we ask this question
3:44why would god
3:47deign to humble himself
3:51to be born of the virgin mary
3:53why would he come and join us in this
3:56that we’ve created you’ll note that when
3:58god created everything at the beginning
4:00everything was good
4:02in hebrew tov and then at the very end
4:04god said to me oh very good
4:08but since our rebellion and yeah it’s my
4:11rebellion and your rebellion too uh the
4:14world that we live in is
4:16anything but tov mahod
4:19at times there is good for sure
4:22and it’s those times when their things
4:25are going well
4:26that oftentimes our mind wanders back to
4:30in memory
4:32times when we were happy times when we
4:34were healthy times when we were young
4:40in the midst of the mess that we’ve
4:41created in this world a world full of
4:46discord strife
4:52terrible ways in which we treat each
4:54why would god just not say to hell with
4:57all of you
4:59why does he not say that to me
5:03would god send his son into the midst
5:06of such
5:16it’s an unsatisfactory answer when
5:18somebody says well
5:20god promised back in the garden of eden
5:22that he would send
5:24the seed of a woman
5:26who would crush the head of the serpent
5:28it’s an unsatisfactory answer to say
5:31well god always keeps his word the
5:34reason why it’s an unsatisfactory answer
5:36is this it is true god never lies and he
5:38always keeps his word
5:39but then there’s another why behind that
5:42explanation and the why behind that
5:44explanation is the one we have to get at
5:48because god didn’t have to promise that
5:52the seed of the woman would crush the
5:53head of the serpent for us
5:56he didn’t have to do that
5:59and the answer comes back to who god is
6:02and what he’s all about
6:03and when we search the scriptures there
6:05is one answer to why god would do that
6:09that comes back
6:10to us over
6:12and over
6:14and over again
6:16you see it in the words of Christ
6:18recorded for us in the gospel writers
6:21you see it in the words of the apostles
6:24written for us in scripture paul writes
6:26about it extensively in fact habitually
6:30john mentions it so clearly that it’s
6:35it’s written in such a way
6:37that it embarrasses us and convicts us
6:41even peter talks about it so boldly
6:44in fact it was the very thing that peter
6:46pointed his wife to on the day of her
6:51and the answer to the question as to why
6:53why would heaven meet earth why would
6:56deign to be born of a virgin into the
6:59midst of this world
7:01of sin and death
7:02it’s because of his great love for us
7:06because god really is love and we
7:09understand that when you have to do the
7:12proper distinction between the law
7:14and the gospel that when we hear about
7:18we are convicted of our failure to love
7:24if you’re thinking well i’m not that bad
7:26at it
7:28remember the modifiers to love the lord
7:30your god with all
7:32your heart
7:37well when you put it that way you know
7:39maybe i’m not as good at that as i
7:43but then you have the other love your
7:44neighbor as yourself
7:46when we hear about love
7:48we are always convicted because we don’t
7:52we don’t love god we don’t love our
7:54neighbor as ourself but boy do we love
7:58i know i love myself
8:00way too much
8:02i trust myself far too much
8:05if you’re honest so do you
8:07but it’s in that context then we hear
8:10the words of that are so familiar to us
8:14our text tonight from the gospel of luke
8:16is the text the gospel text that’s taken
8:19from well
8:21the month of march the annunciation
8:24where the gabriel announces
8:27that mary will conceive and bear a child
8:30and it’s the following verses that will
8:32form the canticle that we will sing
8:34tonight the magnificat
8:36but we have to understand that god
8:43like a parent who has a child who’s
8:45wandered away in gun prodigal
8:50god has never stopped loving us
8:53and he’s done all that is necessary
8:56so that we can be saved forgiven
8:58pardoned redeemed adopted back in the
9:00family given an inheritance and life
9:03eternal rather than the damnation that
9:05we have earned because of our
9:09in satan’s rebellion and apostasy
9:11against god
9:13paul writes about it this way in romans
9:16while we were still weak
9:19at the right time
9:21Christ he died for the ungodly
9:25one will scarcely die for a righteous
9:27person though perhaps for a good person
9:29one would dare even to die
9:31but god he demonstrates he shows
9:34his love for us
9:37in that while we were still sinners
9:40died for us
9:42and so we recognize that Christ was sent
9:45on a mission and the mission is going to
9:47take him straight to the cross
9:50but the mission begins
9:52with his conception in the womb of the
9:54virgin mary
9:56and his mission continues when he is
9:59conceived and then born
10:03well ten fingers ten toes and a little
10:08and a mouth
10:10and a hand that can just grasp a finger
10:13that’s all part of the mission
10:15since therefore now we have been
10:17justified by his blood the blood of this
10:20messiah this Jesus how much more then
10:23shall we be saved from the wrath of god
10:26and you see then
10:27the stew that we find ourselves in
10:31we’ve each sinned and earned the wrath
10:34of god each and every one of us are
10:36ungodly and i’ve said it before from
10:38this pope and i’ll continue to say it if
10:40you do not consider yourself part of
10:42that group the group known as the
10:44ungodly then you have no need for Jesus
10:47you can just turn off the stream now
10:50or leave the congregation
10:52there’s no point in you being here if
10:53you’re not part of that group
10:55but you’ll note that that group has
10:57earned the wrath of god but it does not
11:00satisfy god
11:02to just pour his wrath out on us
11:05above and beyond his wrath is his great
11:08love for us in giving us a way out
11:11calling us to repent
11:13calling us to be forgiven providing
11:15everything that we need for that
11:17salvation you see while we were enemies
11:20we were reconciled to god by the death
11:23of his son
11:24how much more now that we are reconciled
11:27shall we be saved by his life and more
11:30than that we also rejoice in god through
11:33our lord Jesus Christ through whom we
11:35have now received reconciliation
11:37paul says it this way in ephesians
11:40blessed be the god and father of our
11:41lord Jesus Christ
11:44who has blessed us in Christ
11:46with every spiritual blessing in the
11:49heavenly places even as he chose us in
11:53him before the foundation of the world
11:55so that we should be holy and blameless
11:58before him
12:00i recently read a sermon from a fellow
12:03who kind of quipped and i had to think
12:05about it for a little bit he said when
12:07adam and eve
12:08disobeyed god and aid of the tree of the
12:11knowledge of good and evil
12:12we like to talk about it as a fall
12:15from grace
12:18he says i don’t think that’s quite right
12:21when our first parents sinned
12:24they fell from holiness for sure
12:28but god demonstrates his grace and his
12:31in providing and covering their sin and
12:34their nakedness
12:36and caring for them and giving the
12:37promise of the savior
12:39so maybe we should stop talking about it
12:41as a fall from grace
12:44because if it was truly a fall from
12:46grace and what are we doing here tonight
12:52you see
12:53he predestined us
12:56in love
12:57he predestined us for adoption to
12:59himself as sons through Jesus Christ
13:02according to the purpose of his will
13:04to the praise of his glorious grace with
13:07which he has blessed us in the beloved
13:09man these are amazing words when you
13:11think about it
13:13you all remember when you had your first
13:15crush when you were in like grade school
13:18or maybe it was junior high maybe you
13:19were a late bloomer but i remember
13:23when i was a kid distinctly having a
13:26crush on that girl i couldn’t remember
13:27her name to save my life now i think
13:29about it but man
13:32when those feelings came
13:34about the only person i can think about
13:37was that girl right and then my wife oh
13:40man she transferred into my high school
13:42algebra class second day of high school
13:45sixth period she comes transferring and
13:47she’s she was oh man she was just
13:50nothing but braces rubber bands headgear
13:53and uh
13:54and knee-high socks
13:56and little blue ribbons right
13:59but as soon as i saw her oh i knew
14:02and at that time the feelings that i had
14:06were just
14:09and overwhelming
14:10and what’s really interesting here is
14:12that if you consider paul’s description
14:15of god’s love for us
14:18it’s as if
14:20all of that is present in god
14:24even though we have sinned horribly and
14:26become his enemies and transgressed as
14:28law and we have acted high-handedly
14:32against his commands
14:34even in the midst of all of that he has
14:36blessed us in Christ with every
14:39spiritual blessing he has chosen us in
14:42him before the foundation of the world
14:44so that we can be holy and blameless
14:46before him in love he predestined us for
14:49adoption to himself as sons through
14:52Jesus Christ according to the purpose of
14:54his will to the praise of his glorious
14:57grace with which he has blessed us
15:00in the beloved in him we have redemption
15:03through his blood and the forgiveness of
15:05all of our trespasses according to the
15:08riches of his grace which he lavished
15:11upon us
15:12in all wisdom
15:14and insight making known to us the
15:16mystery of his will
15:19you hear those words
15:21this sounds
15:22sounds like an obsessed lover
15:24practically a stalker
15:27and yet i’m so thankful that god has
15:29stalked me
15:31and i bet you you’re thankful that he
15:33stalked you as well
15:35this is one lover that we dare not spurn
15:38is it any wonder that in our first text
15:40for advent this year we heard the
15:43glorious words of the prophecy of
15:46say to the daughter of zion
15:50when you you can even trace it back
15:52through the old testament all those
15:54terms of endearment and love
15:57say to the daughter of time behold your
15:59king comes to you humble
16:02riding on a cult the full of a donkey
16:05all of these words as if god himself is
16:08wooing us
16:10isn’t that what he’s doing in Christ
16:13john puts it this way in his epistle in
16:15chapter 4 beloved
16:17let us love one another
16:19in light of the love of god john here is
16:22thinking about the very love of god and
16:24then it’s impacted it should have on
16:26each and every one of us as his beloved
16:29children beloved there’s that word
16:31listen beloved
16:33i mean
16:34when was the last time i wrote a letter
16:35to my wife and called her beloved
16:38probably when i was still in the midst
16:40of all the hormones of young love right
16:43who of us have written love letters
16:45lately especially if we’ve been married
16:46for more than a few decades
16:49but here
16:50the holy spirit has caused the apostle
16:53john to write to us
16:55and he writes to us in these terms of
16:58endearment beloved
17:00you who are beloved in Christ you who
17:03have been chosen in Christ you who’ve
17:05been forgiven whose
17:07sins Christ has washed away
17:10you who he is lavishing the riches of
17:13his grace upon let us now love one
17:16another for love is from god
17:19and whoever loves has been born of god
17:21and knows god
17:23anyone who does not love does not know
17:26because god is love
17:29in this the love of god was made
17:32manifest among us
17:33the god sent his only son into the world
17:37so that we might live through him and
17:39this is love
17:41not that we have loved god
17:43but that he loved us
17:45and he sent his son to be the
17:46propitiation for our sins
17:49beloved and there it is again
17:53listen to the wooing words of scripture
17:55beloved if god so loved us and he has
17:59we ought to love one another
18:01no one has ever seen god
18:04and if we love one another god abides in
18:07and his love then is perfected in us and
18:10by this we know that we abide in him and
18:12he and us because he has given us of his
18:15spirit and we have seen and testified
18:18that the father has sent his son to be
18:19the savior of the world
18:21whoever confesses that Jesus is the son
18:24of god god abides in him and he and god
18:28what a strange sentence
18:31that we sinners
18:33can have god now abiding in us
18:36despite the fact that we have yet to be
18:39and don’t worry we don’t have to go to
18:41purgatory for that just want to make
18:42that clear with you mike you know
18:46in the twinkling of an eye he will
18:47perfect us right
18:49so we have come now to know and to
18:52the love that god has for us listen to
18:55those words again
18:56in this wonderful chapter we have come
18:59to know
19:00and we’ve come to believe the love that
19:03god has for us
19:05you see god
19:10and that’s what he wills is it any
19:12wonder then that scripture says it’s not
19:14his will that any should perish
19:16of course it would not be his will that
19:18any should bearish
19:20because god is love
19:22he truly wills desires to be reconciled
19:25with all of us
19:28each of us sons of adam
19:30and daughters of eve god is love and
19:33wills to us to be saved so whoever
19:36abides in love then abides in god and
19:39god abides in him and by this is love
19:42perfected with us so that we might have
19:44confidence for the day of judgment in
19:47fact god sent his son
19:50born of the virgin mary so that rather
19:53than shrinking back in fear
19:57and lament
19:59rather than hiding under the rocks at
20:01his coming
20:03we might greet him when he arrives
20:06with shouts of joy and praise
20:09and that comes from the confidence that
20:11knows that we are forgiven in Christ
20:14because of god’s great love god’s love
20:18gives us confidence for the day of
20:20judgment because he is so also are we in
20:23this world you see there is no fear in
20:27but perfect love then casts out fear
20:30and fear has to do with punishment
20:33and whoever fears has not yet been
20:35perfected in love and that’s kind of the
20:38point if you think that you’re going to
20:39save yourself by your good works by your
20:41deeds by your brownie points by your
20:44community service by your
20:47hard work
20:49your sacrifices
20:51then there’s nothing for you but fear
20:53because you can never know
20:55if it’s enough
20:58but Christ is enough for us
21:01and he has been sent because of god’s
21:04great love for us it was because of
21:06god’s love that he was promised in the
21:08first place
21:09and john then says this
21:12the reason we love
21:14is because he first loved us
21:17apart from Christ we can do nothing
21:20and through the love of Christ
21:22who loves the loveless who loves his
21:25enemies loves those who are hostile to
21:27him now we can love others as paul says
21:30we overcome evil now
21:32by doing good
21:34so we love because he first loved us if
21:37anyone says i love god and then hates
21:39his brother he’s a liar that person
21:41doesn’t know what he’s talking about he
21:43doesn’t even know god at all he does not
21:46for if he he who does not love his
21:48brother whom he has seen cannot love god
21:52whom he has not seen
21:55and so this commandment that we have
21:56from him whoever loves god must also
21:58love his brother
22:00and this is only possible by
22:03faith in the love of god faith in the
22:06forgiveness of sins faith in the savior
22:09sent to redeem us
22:12in the babe of bethlehem
22:15who will grow and then eventually be
22:17nailed to the tree
22:20who becomes a curse
22:21so that we can be blessed
22:24is it any wonder then that paul
22:26speaking about
22:28love says that love is patient and love
22:30is kind
22:32it doesn’t end very boast
22:34it’s not arrogant or rude
22:36every time i hear that passage of
22:38scripture i’m so tempted to replace the
22:40word love with Christ
22:43and if i were to replace the word love
22:45with Christ
22:47would i do any violence to this text
22:51Christ is
22:53he’s kind
22:56on mount sinai he was declared
22:58himself to be slow to anger
23:01abounding and steadfast love
23:04pardoning iniquity
23:06Christ is not arrogant
23:08nor is he rude
23:11he’s not irritable or resentful
23:14he doesn’t rejoice at wrongdoing
23:16but he rejoices with the truth
23:19Christ bears all things
23:21believes all things hopes all things
23:24and he has endured truly all things
23:27he’s endured the wrath of god on the
23:29cross that you and i can be forgiven
23:31Christ never ends
23:34you see it doesn’t do any violence to
23:36that text
23:37so as we begin our advent tied as we
23:40begin our time together
23:42and considering the mysteries of the
23:46the time
23:47when physically heaven and earth meet
23:50where god himself tabernacles among us
23:53when we ask the question
23:57the answer that scripture gives
23:59practically on every single page
24:02is because of God’s great love
24:05love for his creation love for
24:08rebel sinners like you and me love
24:11love so much that he would bear our sin
24:14that God will lay on him the iniquity of
24:16us all
24:17so that we can be pardoned and god can
24:20his love and grace upon us
24:23in the name of Jesus
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