The title of yesterday’s sermon was „Which story is yours?”
We all have stories which we believe to be true. We can use the word ‘story’ or we can use the word ‘worldview’, or we can describe it as our understanding about this world in which we live.
Whichever story we chose, that story determines our lives. It not only tells what is this world about, but it determines what we think – who are we? Are we created in God’s image and likeness, infinitely precious in His eyes, with the highest possible dignity and worthiness, yet fallen and enslaved by sin. Yes, I’m talking about you.
What are our lives about? Are they about living in fellowship with this benevolent and gracious God the Father the Son and the Spirit, receiving all we have as His generous gifts. Rejoicing in His unceasing love and care that is new every day.
Are they about serving all people in our lives being God’s co-workers, loving them not for our, but for their own sake, rejoicing in sacrificial service, whenever we can. Or maybe we believe different stories.
We all believe particular things to be true and others to be false. Yesterday we looked how this belief that Christmas story is more than story, that it is the true history of our world, how this belief has changed the world.
This belief, based on Biblical story, literary created this wonderful world, this wonderful culture with all the incredible benefits we enjoy on daily bases – safety and peace, protection, just laws, education, technology, medicine, and so on. They all are blessings given to us by our Father in heaven.
Today we heard this story again. A little broader than yesterday. Christmas story doesn’t begin just 2000 years ago as many presume. Not at all. This story begins in the beginning – with the Creation and the Fall. It is as old as this world itself. It begins with God’s promise to be faithful to His fallen creatures and to restore us back in fellowship with Him, our Heavenly Father.
We heard the voices of prophets in our reading, they were sent by God, again and again, to remind about this promise, to renew the hope of restored lives, and to foretell where and how it will be fulfilled.
It gives this story unusual twist, when we realize that God the Creator of Universe, yes, Universe [!], loves us so much that His plan of our salvation involves Him coming to us as one of us. Him, the eternal Word, through whom everything is created, becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Delivering Himself in hands of sinners.
It is truly universal story. It is story for the wisest and for the lowest, for the kings and for the shepherds, the story for all the nations of the earth. This is the story which God Himself came to tell us, to tell you, and we all are sent to tell it others.
There is something tricky with this story, though. You see, it is not enough to know that this story is true. It is not enough to see that this story has changed billions of lives and has changed this world. It is quite easy to get so far, but it is not enough.
What else, we may wonder. One very simple thing, but this thing make all the difference in our lives. This story is true, God really did all these things. Yes. He created this world and us, and still sustains. He promised to save us and kept sending His prophets to remind about it. He came to us and was born as a child. He lived, He died and He rouse again. He did it all exactly as promised. That’s all true.
What you need to accept once and for all – that He did it all for you [2x]. And when I say, for you, I mean you. Yes, you, and not someone else. It doesn’t matter, who are you, it doesn’t matter what life you have lived so far.
Your social status doesn’t matter, your possessions don’t matter, your sins, or your achievements don’t matter. Whoever you are – you, yes you, are so dear and important in God’s eyes, that you need to know that all what we read today, God is saying and doing for you.
You can say: ‘for me? Really!’ Yes, really! When you leave the church today, keep repeating it: „He did it all for me!” Do it when you go to bed and when you wake up. Live with this message every day and every minute of your life.
This is the Gospel. Not that this story is true, but that this is what God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit has done, is doing and will do for you. This is the deepest content of Christmas story. This is why all who hear this story can rejoice.
This is why you can rejoice, for you have such a God, Creator, Redeemer, the One who dwells with you always. This is why this story changes the world. For if you have such a God, and you, you have Him, nothing is impossible. If he loves you so much, if He loves each of us so much, also you are enabled to love people in your lives. His love make all the difference.
Rejoice, share this story, share this Gospel, share your joy, and be a blessing for others.