Tuesday, December 27, 2011

25.12.2011 Christmas

Good Morning and Merry Christmas.... We want you to know that we thank the LORD for everyone of you…..

I hope that you have had a good time celebrating with family and friends.....We spent Heilige Abend at Uli´s parents House....We have been coming to Germany for the holidays for many years.....and it is a wonderful time of good food and remembering God´s great mercy and unfailing Love.....

Luke 2: 8-11 NLT

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!

Luke 2:8-11 Neues Leben

8 In jener Nacht hatten ein paar Hirten auf den Feldern vor dem Dorf ihr Lager aufgeschlagen, um ihre Schafe zu hüten.

9 Plötzlich erschien ein Engel des Herrn in ihrer Mitte. Der Glanz des Herrn umstrahlte sie. Die Hirten erschraken,

10 aber der Engel beruhigte sie. »Habt keine Angst!«, sagte er. »Ich bringe eine gute Botschaft für alle Menschen!

11 Der Retter - ja, Christus1, der Herr - ist heute Nacht in Bethlehem, der Stadt Davids, geboren worden!

Matt 12: 21 NLT

And his name will be the hope of all the world."

Matt 12: 21 Neues Leben

21 Und auf seinem Namen wird die Hoffnung der ganzen Welt ruhen.

Last year….. on the 23rd of December ... I spent the afternoon teaching English at Berlitz..... There were 11 of us... and I turned the talk to Christmas.....Usually I get a favorable response from students when they retell Christmas memories..... but last year... it was very painful... I asked each person a question and I got 9 very negative answers...... At best there was a little bit of nostalga as they remembered Christmas´s from the past ..... Not one of them was looking forward to the Holidays...... pain and disappointment was on every face .....

They had rejected the Babe in a manger.... He wasn´t a Savior to them..... there was no hope...... no feelings of joy or anticipation.... nothing........ Only darkness and depression...it was horrible....They are unemployed and living in the land of the shadow of death.... It was a powerful reminder of the Biblical truth...... there are many who have rejected the LORD JESUS......

They have not had a blessed Christmas..... they do not know anything of the Peace and joy that one finds at the foot of the Cross.....

This year as we have continued our study in Luke.... we have met many of the ordinary people that God revealed the Messiah to..... at his birth and during his earthly ministry as the son of man……

We met Simeon..... lead to the Temple by the Holy Spirit…… at exactly the right time to see His long awaited Deliverer... the Baby Jesus.... tradition says that he was very old...... about 110 years old....

Today In our text…. We see the Saviors birth announced to Shepherds……

The great King David was a shepherd…… but normally shepherds were not highly valued…… they smelled………. They had a bad reputation…..they were thought to be untrustworthy…….. they were not allowed to testify in court….. they were defiled by their work….. They were not allowed in the temple…..The angels could have announced the birth of the Messiah…..The Savior of the world to the High priest….. or to Herod and the religious leaders of the land….. But no……

Jesus came to redeem all people…… even the lowest……… even people like me….. and you….. ordinary people……

Shepherds were necessary……. Sheep and goats were the main source of food and clothing for the Children of Israel…..

But there was something special about these shepherds…….. You see this is Bethlehem……the City of David and the place……. Very near Jerusalem that was also called the tower of the Flock….. it´s called Migdal Eder……

Migdal Eder is where the Prophet Micah said that the Messiah would be revealed…. Turn with me to Micah 4…..

Micah 4: 6-8 ESV

6 In that day, declares the LORD,

I will assemble the lame

and gather those who have been driven away

and those whom I have afflicted;

7 and the lame I will make the remnant,

and those who were cast off, a strong nation;

and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion

from this time forth and forevermore.

8 And you, O tower of the flock, ( Midgal Eder)

hill of the daughter of Zion,

to you shall it come,

the former dominion shall come,

kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem.

Micah 4: 6-8 Neues Leben

6 Der Herr verspricht: »Der Tag wird kommen, an dem ich alle, die zerschunden sind, und alle, die ich in meinem Zorn verstoßen habe, sammeln werde. Und ich werde alle, denen ich Böses zugefügt habe, zusammenholen.

7 Ich will dafür sorgen, dass die Zerschundenen als heiliger Rest erhalten bleiben und die, die sich weit verlaufen haben, werde ich zu einem starken Volk machen. Dann wird der Herr vom Berg Zion als König über sie herrschen bis in Ewigkeit.

8 Und du, Wachturm auf dem Hügel von Jerusalem, wirst deine frühere Herrschaft wieder erlangen.

These humble shepherds were in the right place at the right time………to be the first to hear the Good News……… The Savoir…… The Messiah….. The hope……. The Light of the World……. they saw it with their own eyes they heard the Good News from the mouths of Angels……

There´s even more to this story…….You see these shepherds worked for the Temple……. The flocks that they cared for were special….. They were set apart…… destined for the temple as sacrifices…… sacrifices for sin and for thanksgiving to the LORD GOD……

At the base of the tower was a special place for the ewes that were about to give birth were taken to protect them and their new babies….. they must be protected from any injury……… because lambs for sacrifice had to be perfect…. Spotless……

What a fantastic place for the Lamb of God to be Born…….. The spotless lamb of God…… seen first by the shepherds….. their job life was to care for the lambs to be sacrificed….. let´s read further……

Luke 2: 12-20 NLT

12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,

and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Luke 2: 12-20 Neues Leben

12 Und daran könnt ihr ihn erkennen: Ihr werdet ein Kind finden, das in Windeln gewickelt in einer Futterkrippe liegt!«

13 Auf einmal war der Engel von den himmlischen Heerscharen umgeben, und sie alle priesen Gott mit den Worten:

14 »Ehre sei Gott im höchsten Himmel und Frieden auf Erden für alle Menschen, an denen Gott Gefallen hat2.«

15 Als die Engel in den Himmel zurückgekehrt waren, sagten die Hirten zueinander: »Kommt, gehen wir nach Bethlehem! Wir wollen das Wunder, von dem der Herr uns erzählen ließ, mit eigenen Augen sehen.«

16 Sie liefen so schnell sie konnten ins Dorf und fanden Maria und Josef und das Kind in der Futterkrippe.

17 Da erzählten die Hirten allen, was geschehen war und was der Engel ihnen über dieses Kind gesagt hatte.

18 Alle Leute, die den Bericht der Hirten hörten, waren voller Staunen.

19 Maria aber bewahrte alle diese Dinge in ihrem Herzen und dachte oft darüber nach.

20 Die Hirten kehrten zu ihren Herden auf den Feldern zurück; sie priesen und lobten Gott für das, was der Engel ihnen gesagt hatte und was sie gesehen hatten. Alles war so, wie es ihnen angekündigt worden war.

Look at verse 17 and 18…..

17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,

17 Da erzählten die Hirten allen, was geschehen war und was der Engel ihnen über dieses Kind gesagt hatte.

18 Alle Leute, die den Bericht der Hirten hörten, waren voller Staunen.

When they saw Jesus…… they went and told everyone……. The first missionaries…… humble dirty shepherds…… and all who heard were astonished…..

Now look at verse 20

20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

20 Die Hirten kehrten zu ihren Herden auf den Feldern zurück; sie priesen und lobten Gott für das, was der Engel ihnen gesagt hatte und was sie gesehen hatten. Alles war so, wie es ihnen angekündigt worden war.

These simple ordinary shepherds worshipped and praised God!

Ordinary people with a special assignment…….. Just like us…… we are ordinary people with a special assignment….

Next today we will meet Anna…. turn with me to ..... Luke 2: 36....

Luke 2: 36 - 38 NLT

36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

Luke 2: 36 - 38 Neues Leben

36 Im Tempel befand sich auch Hanna, eine Prophetin. Sie war eine Tochter Phanuëls aus dem Stamm Asser und schon sehr alt. Hanna war Witwe. Ihr Mann war nach nur sieben Jahren Ehe gestorben.

37 Jetzt war sie vierundachtzig Jahre alt und verließ den Tempel nie mehr, sondern diente Gott dort Tag und Nacht mit Fasten und Beten.

38 Als Simeon mit Maria und Josef sprach, ging sie vorbei und begann, Gott zu loben. Allen, die auf die verheißene Erlösung Israels warteten, erzählte sie von Jesus.

v 36 - 37........ Anna....she was very old.... 84...and a widow..... she was probably childless.... a curse to the Jews way of thinking.... she was very ordinary...... not royalty....

and yet she get´s to meet the KING OF KINGS and LORD of LORD`S

She was not related to the High Priestly family.... the fact that she was a widowed a such a young age was not considered to be a blessing.... but she was not bitter..... she was a great example to those around her.... because she devoted herself to serving and worshipping the LORD....

In verse 36 we see that Anna was a prophetess…… We don’t know in what capacity Anna was a prophetess…..

Perhaps it was in the way that she brought forth this specific word about Jesus……

Prophesy..... there are two ways to prophesy

1. foretelling.....saying what will happen in the future

2. forthtelling..... proclaiming the truth of scripture... proclaiming the Good News is also a form of prophesy... Anna prophesied in this way…….. telling everyone that the Messiah was born……… We don´t know if she also prophesied about the future….. but she was totally devoted to the LORD……..

Look at the last part of verse 37……

v37b….. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.

V37b….. verließ den Tempel nie mehr, sondern diente Gott dort Tag und Nacht mit Fasten und Beten.

Anna was active in the life of the temple..... a godly woman..... a true worshiper.... even though she had great sorrow in her life….. she was not bitter..... she looked for the redeemer... the comforter of Israel……The LORD was her whole life.... she was not missing something in her life....

Her life was full and blessed...... She was totally focused on the only thing that mattered .... The LORD GOD..... At long last as she trusted the LORD.... she got to see the Messiah......

She aged gracefully…… with her eyes on the LORD……waiting for his redemption…..

Anna´s devotion to the LORD... was proved by.....

1. her love for Jesus.............worshipping

2. her desire to tell others about him.........witnessing

that´s the way to age gracefully in the LORD.....

Anna…… a life well lived

1.....waiting for the redemption of Israel.....waiting for God to redeem and restore her life

2....worshipping God night and day......

3.....witnessing to others......

This godly woman served God with total devotion….She denied herself……..

Anna’s close walk with God is shown by her immediately recognizing and loving Jesus……. and by her desire to tell others about HIM…..She spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption……. Proclaiming…. And Prophesying……the Good News……

Luke 2: 39 - 40 NLT

39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

Luke 2: 39 - 40 Neues Leben

39 Als Maria und Josef alles erfüllt hatten, was nach dem Gesetz des Herrn vorgeschrieben ist, kehrten sie nach Nazareth in Galiläa zurück.

40 Dort wuchs Jesus heran und wurde groß und kräftig. Er war mit Weisheit erfüllt, und Gottes besondere Gnade ruhte auf ihm.

v39..... What were the requirements of the Law

1.... Jesus´circumcision

2..... Jesus´ dedication to the LORD

Jesus was the first born....perfect.... no defects...... born of a virgin…. He was fit for the Priesthood

v39…. Nazareth.....

One of the Bible names for the Messiah is ....

The Branch..... The Netzer...... The Nazarene....

Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem...... he fulfilled prophesy by being born there...... it had to be so....

but he also fulfilled prophesy by growing up in Nazareth.....

Isaiah Identified the Messiah by that name in Isaiah 4:2

Zechariah also tells us something wonderful about the LORD JESUS…… THE Nazarene……. It´s in Zech 6: 12- 13..... let´s take a look.....

Zech 6: 12- 13 NLT

12 Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of the Lord. 13 Yes, he will build the Temple of the Lord. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.’

Zech 6: 12- 13 Neues Leben

12 Sag ihm: `So spricht der Herr, der Allmächtige: Da ist ein Mann, der Spross4 genannt wird, denn unter ihm wird es sprießen und er wird den Tempel des Herrn bauen.

13 Ja, er wird den Tempel des Herrn bauen; er wird königliche Ehren empfangen, seinen Thron einnehmen und dort herrschen. An seinem Thron wird ein Priester dienen5, und zwischen beiden wird vollkommene Eintracht sein.´

This is the prophesy that tells us about JESUS role as great High Priest and KING of KINGS.....

The Branch.... the Netzer...the Nazarene.....

our great high priest and King forever.....


We have seen and heard Jesus......we have been redeemed.....

We should tell everyone the Good News.......We should be constantly praising and glorifing God in everything that we say and do......

We are here on Earth for a purpose.....Jesus said all authority in Heaven and Earth is given to me.....Go into all the World..... make disciples......

We are here in the body for a purpose...... we are members of one another...we belong to each other.... we are here in the church so that we can love and encourage each other....pray for each other...... cover each others sins with love..... and mercy and forgiveness...... we have the blessing of bearing one anothers burdens...... we can lighten each others load.....Even though we are ordinary people..... sinners saved by Grace..... because of His unfailing LOVE......we have a savior.....

We are celebrating the birth of the Savior....Jesus the Messiah!!!

but we must remember ..... The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the Whole world was born to die.....

To die....... to redeem us.....He came to die so that we could live with Him forever......What unfailing LOVE..... What Mercy......

David understood this so very well..... He was a real person ordinary .....not perfect... a sinner saved by grace....As we celebrate communion together....let´s remember this babe in a manger came for us...... to take the punishment for our sins.... to die for our sins....so that we could be forgiven.... He came to Redeem us and to give us everlasting peace and Joy..... to wash us white as snow....

Here´s what David wrote.....

Psalms 51: 7- 12 NLT

7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Oh, give me back my joy again;

you have broken me-

now let me rejoice.

9 Don't keep looking at my sins.

Remove the stain of my guilt.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Renew a right spirit within me.

11 Do not banish me from your presence,

and don't take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me again the joy of your salvation,

and make me willing to obey you.

Psalms 51: 7 -12 Neues Leben

7 Denn ich war ein Sünder - von dem Augenblick an, da meine Mutter mich empfing.

8 Dir gefällt ein Herz, das wahrhaftig ist; und im Verborgenen lehrst du mich deine Weisheit.

9 Wasche von mir ab meine Sünden1, und ich werde ganz rein werden; wasche mich, und ich werde weißer sein als Schnee.

10 Gib mir meine Freude zurück und lass mich wieder fröhlich werden, denn du hast mich zerbrochen.

11 Sieh meine Sünde nicht mehr an und vergib mir meine Schuld.

12 Gott, erschaffe in mir ein reines Herz und gib mir einen neuen, aufrichtigen Geist.

1 Cor 11: 23- 26 NLT

23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you.[f] Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.

1 Cor 11: 23- 26 Neues Leben

23 Das Folgende hat der Herr selbst gesagt, und ich gebe es euch so weiter, wie ich es empfangen habe: In der Nacht, als er verraten wurde, nahm Jesus, der Herr, einen Laib Brot,

24 und nachdem er Dank gesagt hatte, brach er ihn und sprach: »Das ist mein Leib, der für euch hingegeben wird6. Tut das zur Erinnerung an mich.«

25 Ebenso nahm er nach dem Abendmahl den Weinkelch und sprach: »Dieser Kelch ist der neue Bund zwischen Gott und euch, besiegelt durch mein Blut. Wann immer ihr daraus trinkt, tut es zur Erinnerung an mich.«

26 Denn jedes Mal, wenn ihr dieses Brot esst und aus diesem Kelch trinkt, verkündet ihr den Tod des Herrn, bis er wiederkommt.

Let´s pray......