Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of December 8, 2019

Sermon: “Location, Location, Location”
Text: Matthew 3

Location, Location, Location…it’s all about Location...location is often determinative of success and value, or desirability or viability

Interestingly enough, location, location, location underlies Advent’s promises, proclamations and prophecies.  “On this mountain”, “In the wilderness”, “on that highway” and “Zion, Judah, Bethlehem”…over and over again location, location, location.  Advent is all about God coming to our location that He might intentionally share Himself with us.  In Christ, God becomes man and He who fills all things, who is omnipresent – everywhere at once – in the person of Jesus, for His earthly pilgrimage, is isolated to a singular location. Quite often it probably was one He’d have preferred not to be: 

V  Fleeing Bethlehem as the children are being slain, hiding in Egypt for the duration of Herod’s reign;
V  Standing at a friend’s grave where He wept, praying in a garden while His disciples slept;
V  Finding the “Rock” denying Him, and the Iscariot betraying Him;
V  Tried by the church and Caiaphas and the state and Pontius;
V  And on account of each He carried His cross to the place of the skull and then was Himself buried in a borrowed crypt’s stall.  But before He died He cried, “my God, my God why hast thou forsaken me.”   At that time, in that location He was truly isolated and alone.  

God was not there, Father abandoned Son, Spirit that proceeds from both withdrew and Jesus was utterly alone.  So that we never would be... 
·         Not when you find yourself in a place of trial or a friend’s denial;
·         Not when the state of the state is disappointing nor when the state of the church is alarming;
·         Not when we weep beside a grave of a loved one nor when loved ones weep over ours. 

God enters this world and in Christ knows the joys and sorrows that certain locations bring.  And then Jesus’ brings His transformative, gracious power to bear on barren locations.  In Jesus, rough roads become smooth highways and crooked ways straight.  In Jesus, deserts become pools and burning sands fountains.  Such locations can also serve as metaphor for the locations we can find ourselves in physically, emotionally or spiritually.  His Advent impacts those locations too.  The promises, proclamations and prophecies of Advent foretell of  broken hearts being bound, captives set free and mourners receiving comfort…to name a few.

Where He is - there is all He has to give; and at the end of His first Advent, His earthly ministry where He bound Himself to the physical and usually to physics – there were those occasions where He passed right through a crowd, walked on water, and revealed heavenly splendor on earth – at the end of His first Advent – just prior to His departure and return to the Father He made a promise about His presences.  I will be with YOU!  Wherever you are He is there!  There is no back alley you could find yourself in, in which He is not present.  There is no wilderness in which you could wander that He is not traversing by your side.  Location, location, location…of course, when you are in a land flowing with milk and honey, when you find yourself with a heart that is light and spirit that is bright, at peace, whole, free, and happy – He has not merely been there, He has authored that moment too.  Remember we do praise Him from whom all blessings flow! Ultimately He authored the moment. 

And here’s the kicker…where you are He intentionally intends to share Himself through you…Isaiah went to the people, the people came to John…the result was the samesharing intentionally the promises, proclamations and prophecies of Advent that our God is a God of location, location, location and thus regardless of where we find ourselves…we find that Christ is there!   

-Pr. Kevin Kritzer


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