May 12, 2013 Essential Tenants Wk. 4 Topic: Incarnation Title: Visited by Gods GloryStand in Awe

May 12, 2013

Essential Tenants Wk. 4

Topic: Incarnation

Title: Visited by God’s Glory—Stand in Awe



Children’s Sermon:

I am going to read through the following list and I want you to raise your hand when I read a person that you have in your home.

a transportation director - Mom's tend to be the ones who arrange for rides to where we want to be

a personal dietitian or nutritionist - Mom is the one who decides what we can or cannot have to eat

a fashion coordinator - the person who buys, washes and let's us know if what we are wearing is appropriate for the occasion and if it matches.

a landscaper - is the one who might mow the lawn or plants the flowers or shrubs or adds decoration outside to make your home look nice.

an accounts manager - someone who makes sure that the bills are paid that there is money for groceries and all the activities that kids would like to do.

a pediatric physician - "a kid doctor" and who do we go to when we have a sore throat or a splinter

a domestic engineer - someone who makes sure the home runs properly

an interior designer - the one who makes the inside of our houses look nice and helps keep it clean

a family historian - the person who helps keep track of our lives, either in photos, or journals or scrapbooks

an arbitrator - the one who breaks up fights or arguments with siblings or friends

or a personal coach - the people who encourage us all the time, they are the ones who challenge us and teach us new skills that we need to get through life


But the amazing part of all of this is that all those big titles we sum up with 3 letters -MOM. But when we read Proverbs 31:29-31 we find that "...that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her reward she has earned, and let her works be known at the city gates."


Your Mom does a lot for you and she loves you very much. Today I challenge you to learn one new thing about her. Find out what your mom's favorite color is, what is her favorite flower, or her favorite food. Take time and talk to your mom because she is a lot more than you think.


Intro:  While we’re on the topic of mothers today, let’s take a look at Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, Immanuel, God with us.

Like every normal mother, Mary naturally would have cherished her own beliefs and secret hopes about the destiny of her son. Before there were apostles and gospels and councils there was most certainly a mother’s own very early and private interpretation of the Incarnation.

I think Mary’s beliefs about her son not only represent the first human attempt at understanding  the Incarnation; they probably include the first misunderstanding  as  well. Is there any son who has not been both understood and misunderstood by his mother? And what mother has not believed things about her child’s future which will never be true?

What did Mary believe about the Jewish Messiah? If she saw her son in this role, did it mean to her that his fate was out of his own hands, and already settled by prophecy and apocalyptic? Did Mary hold the majority view, and imagine herself the mother of the one who would restore Israel to the pre-eminence of a miraculous Davidic reign? We can only guess her reaction when this son of destiny went forth from her loving arms and destroyed her people’s messianic fairytale – by refusing to live up to it in almost every regard.

The Lesson of Mary for theologians is that even a direct revelation such as she received – from Annunciation to Pentecost – cannot guarantee that we will get the Incarnation exactly right in matters of detail. . . .

If Mary’s christology was hideously overthrown at Golgotha, was she able to abandon the ruins in the light of the resurrection? . . .

. . . Mary, although favored by a special annunciation, seems to have entertained a failed christology. But it remains to her eternal credit that she did not bring forth a failed Christ.  She helped most to fulfill the divine purpose of incarnation not by her interpretation of the annunciation, but by her response to it, “Be it done unto me according to thy will.”  Before her son finished the work he was given to do, he may have paid tribute to his mother when he promised that all who would do the will of the Father will eventually know that the teaching is true (John 7:17)


To be incarnate is to be embodied in flesh; given a bodily, especially a human, form.  God the creator of the universe, became incarnate through the human body of his mother, Mary.  That is a big deal and is the third essential tenet we believe in the reformed faith.

            God’s Word – the authority of our confession




By believing that Jesus Christ is God incarnate we are believing that Jesus is both truly God and truly human. Like the Trinity, it is a mystery we may never be able to fully grasp in our human understanding but believing it makes a difference in how we live our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.


So what does Scripture teach us?  What is key to our understanding?


Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

The incarnation of Jesus was foretold.  Prophets spoke of his coming.  The whole nation of Israel was anticipating his coming.  Mary was anticipating his coming


John 1:14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


This is the biblical description of the incarnation.

This is what God did.  He became one of us.  Because he came to us we have seen his glory.  By seeing the glory of Christ, we have seen the glory of God the Father.


And why did God deem it necessary to leave his throne and come down to be with us?


Colossians 1:19-20

For God was pleased

            to have all his fullness dwell in him, 

                        and through him

                                    to reconcile to himself all things,

                                                whether things on earth or things in heaven,

                                    by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.


It pleased God the Father to send Jesus the Son (co-equal and same yet somehow within the Trinity functioning in the manner of an obedient Son). God was “pleased”, content, at peace with his fullness dwelling among us in his Son, Jesus for the purpose of our reconciliation.


God was bent on reconciling humankind to himself.  The only way to do that was to come to earth and do it himself.  (How many Mom’s can finish this statement:  “If you want something done right . . . )  Well obviously, humankind was not able to reconcile themselves to God, so God had to come.  God came, incarnate in Mary’s child, Jesus.


The good news about God’s decision is that we are able to be reconciled.  We are not a hopeless case.  As bad as we are, as confused, as misled, as messed up, as lost as we are, God became one of us because we are able to be reconciled.


The process of that reconciliation was costly.  It required God to yield the glory of being the Creator and become on of the creatures.  It required entering the womb of a woman to grow there for nine months and then be born into a world in less than excellent conditions.  It required the man, Jesus, to travel about and speak the truth to those who would receive it and to those who would reject it.  It required that Jesus be persecuted and thought of us a mad man.  It required explaining over and over again to followers what God was doing and being met with blank stares and a lack of being understood.  It required that Jesus yield his very life to be crucified on the cross, to die, be buried.  It required that his mother, Mary, watch her son suffer and die.  It required the resurrection.


All of this could only happen because God became flesh and dwelt among us.


Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God, came that we might be reconciled to God and be at peace.  That’s what God did for you.  God made reconciliation possible.  He took the first step towards us.  What will your response be?  Will you be reconciled to God?  Will you take the next step towards Him?  Will you accept the reconciliation of God?  Will you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior? 

Do you believe?


Let us pray.