God’s Zeal did…. this?

God’s Zeal did… this.
Isaiah 9

† In Jesus Name †

As we look at the life of Jesus, may we realize the manger is just the beginning of the story, as is the tomb, and even out baptism… and that God’s zeal uses that to accomplish something…beyond our belief

Mary Did you Know Video?

          The Manger, the Cross, the Tomb, and the Throne…
All this accomplished because of God’s zeal

The lighting in the sanctuary this evening, allows for the beginning of the sermon to be a video of the life of Jesus, accompanied by a song most of us have heard before.  (start video)

The reason is showed the video is simple – the manger – and the incredibly peaceful looking scene in most nativity scenes can only be understood as we contemplate the ministry of Christ – what occurs in it, the miracles, the teachings, the Cross, the Tomb, the encounter with Paul, and especially the throne.

I love in our Old Testament reading tonight, the use of the word “zeal”. Not normally a word we think of, when we think of God our Father, and the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It seems odd to use such a passionate, emotional word to describe the Creator of the Heavens and Earth, the Creator of life, the Sustainer of His people.  But zeal is the word used.

Zeal – the thing we think of when we think of football fans, or the excitement of a couple as they look forward to their wedding – zeal.  Words like enthusiasm, passion, ardor and fanaticism are synonyms.  It is that all out- gung ho approach to getting what is desired….

And it is God’s zeal that accomplishes what we celebrate tonight.

Immanuel!  God with us!  With us, hereto live, to teach, to comfort, to heal, to die, rise, and reign!  To create for Himself a people – holy and righteous.

He’s come to take and transform us, for we have too long lived in the darkness, it is time to live in the glorious light of His presence.
It is hard to imagine God that emotionally tied to us – that desirous of our company – so willing to give His son… that we would know and love and be with Him… yet His zeal is for that very thing – and Isaiah, writing hundreds of years – says that the zeal of the Lord of hosts gets this done!

Accomplished –

          The Light which shatters darkness

His reign and peace
His justice and righteousness

 

I have long counted Isaiah and Hebrews as my two favorite books in the Bible – because of the clarity of their presentation of the work of Jesus, the Lord who was chosen to be the child that Isaiah says was given to us.  And the passage tonight – tells us of the incredible work that He came to accomplish.

We live in a world that seems dark.  Darkened by sin, and darkened by the vary evil of mankind.  By our thoughts, and the words we say, and even the deeds we do.  I was talking to Bob recently, and we discussed that those deeds, once hidden, once never discussed, are now talked about freely, indeed we find people who  take great joy, not just in doing evil – St Paul describes the people of his day, and indeed ours, this way….

28 Because those people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, he has given them over to corrupted minds, so that they do the things that they should not do. 29 They are filled with all kinds of wickedness, evil, greed, and vice; they are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deceit, and malice. They gossip 30 and speak evil of one another; they are hateful to God, insolent, proud, and boastful; they think of more ways to do evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no conscience; they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or pity for others. 32 They know that God’s law says that people who live in this way deserve death. Yet, not only do they continue to do these very things, but they even approve of others who do them. Romans 1:28-32 (TEV)

Living in a world like this is difficult – where evil seems to reign.  Even more darkened by things we cannot understand – the challenges of living life in a world were disease and disorders change our very lives – the very people we are.

But into this kind of life comes a baby, a little boy, that has promised to be a light unto the world.

Look at the things Isaiah promises He will bring – the wonderful comfort of God, His presence which will sustain us and cause us to be victorious over sin, and satan, and even.. death.  He is promised to be our everlasting Father, the one who cares and protects and teaches us!
Incredibly – He will be our peace, the Lord, the Prince who establishes peace and keeps us in it!

The zeal of God – His desire to have you in His life, in His glory, makes this happen. It was planned before the foundation of the earth was laid, and it was revealed to us in scripture – even as it is today, and it was revealed in the flesh, as Mary and Joseph looked down upon Him and rejoiced!

And yes – it went through His life, as people were freed from demons and illnesses, the blind saw, the crippled walked and the dead – both physical and spiritual were given life!  The plan was completed at the cross – and the grace and ascension bring its goal to fruition – even as we see it revealed in Pentecost – and in our lives.

That’s what this night is about – that is why we desired His advent – His coming into the world.. even as we desire that He comes again, to reveal the completeness of His glory to us, even as we are to abide in it for eternity, even as we do now, though we cannot see it all….

For we will dwell with Him, our Father, our Lord, our Counselor… our God forever.

For the zeal of the Lord HAS accomplished this.  AMEN?

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on December 25, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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