Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
A new year is upon us! As we are in the genesis of 2011, our gospel lessons are telling us the genesis of Jesus’ earthly life and today we are going to skip into his twelfth year. But don’t overlook the fact that Jesus grew up just like any Hebrew boy. He was catechized like any boy of his day; he played and ate just like everyone else. The life of Jesus made him the perfect sacrifice for sins, but don’t skip to the end, before you understand the beginning. And the beginning is that he was truly a child. The little babe, who as the songwriter puts: “…so few days old has come to rifle Satan’s fold.” Even as a baby he was already a threat to the satanic powers. He came to live as we lived, and he died so we may live. He didn’t despise humanity, he became humanity for us and for our salvation.
As my favorite Christmas hymn Of the Father’s Love Begotten puts it:
He is found in human fashion, death and sorrow here to know,
That the race of Adam’s children doomed by law to endless woe,
May not henceforth die and perish
In the dreadful gulf below, evermore and evermore!
In this last Sunday of Christmas, remember that the second Adam came for you so you may not henceforth die and perish, but live and praise the Son of God forever and ever. Amen.
Call to Worship (Please Stand)
Pastor: Let us worship God, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 18:20; 28:19
Salutation: The Lord be with you! Ruth 2:4
And also with you!
I rejoiced when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord!” Psalm 122:1-2
Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Our help is in the Name of the Lord. Psalm 121:1-2
Maker of heaven and earth.
Pastor: Dearly beloved brethren, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Therefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart and humble voice, unto the throne of heavenly grace.