Sermon on December 16 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Advent calls us beyond seasonal happiness.
What can we learn about the witness of joy from an unlikely character?
1. MEET JOHN – JOYFUL BEFORE HIS MISSION! (Luke 1:41)
John knows he is in the presence of someone Big, even before the Bigger is born.
Even before he preached repentance, John was motivated – not by optimism but joy in the One he preached.
You make known to me the path of life. You fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand
If Jesus is praying for your joy (Jn 17:13) – in what is your joy rooted this Advent and Christmas season?
2. HEAR JOHN – JOYFUL IN HIS MESSAGE!
John’s call – to clear the obstacles that hinder sinners from finding the way to joy.
- Joy in Jesus is breathing again
Comfort, comfort my people says your God…
If in Jesus the punishment for our sins is paid in full, we may breathe easy.
Is your self-idenitity in what you can do or prove to God, or in what He gives in Jesus?
- Joy in Jesus is celebrating anew
John’s message was of a Savior who would bring true shalom into our broken and disordered world
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seed to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations
To know Jesus is to answer the echoes of Eden in our heart for a better world and to welcome the nostalgia of life in new heavens and new earth to which we are now heading
3. FORGET JOHN – IS JESUS YOUR JOY? (John 3: 22-30)
How does John live in such an angry world with a radical core of joy?
Be glad in Jesus and like John the Baptist you will need no more.
When we let go of the illusion of control we will maximize our joy in Christ
Remember! Allow the occasions of seasonal happiness to point you to the deeper joy there is in Christ. Take time this week to ask the Lord to de-clutter your life and strip away any obstacles in the way of pursuing all your joy in Jesus.
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Photo credit FreeImages.com/Ian Cuthbert