I Have Come ... Love - 12/23/2012

Sermon Text:  Ezekiel 36:22-28 & Matthew 22:33-40 

   In the nine years that I’ve been preaching to you, I’ve talked a lot about love. And I’m going to do it again today, because of all the Sundays in our church year … this one, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, calls us to do just that!
   Everybody talks about love. We fall in love. We seek love. We make love. We are told to love our neighbor. We love toast with peanut butter … or not.
   Jesus said, “I have come … I have come so that they could HAVE life—indeed, so that they could LIVE life to the fullest.” (John 10:10b CEB)
   HOPE and PEACE and JOY and LOVE exist right here within the soul of each of us. Jesus came to bring us life, but our souls are surrounded by the “horrors” of half-lived lives. Do you remember the Herman Melville quote I shared with you on our First Sunday of Advent? It is from Moby Dick
   “For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by the horrors of the half-lived life.”
   Jesus said, “I have come…” so that we might have all those things. But we get caught up in so many “other things” and the result: “half-lived lives.” Nonetheless, God has provided a way … THE way … in the birth of the Babe 2000 years ago.
   What did that Babe TELL us and SHOW us as the KEY to “having life” to “living life to the fullest”? LOVE.

Love came down at Christmas,
Love, all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and Angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus,
But where is God’s sacred sign?
Love shall be our token;
Love shall be yours and love shall be mine;
Love to God and neighbor,
Love for plea and gift and sign. 

Read full sermon here (PDF)