The Weary World Rejoices!

2020-12-24 – Year B – Christmas Eve – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:1-20

  • Narnia – always winter and never Christmas. (p. 16)

The Weary World Rejoices

  • The world is not the way it is supposed to be, and it can feel hopeless at times.
    • In the lesson we read from Isaiah we hear of a time when Jerusalem lay in desolation. The food and wine they had labored for became the possession of their enemies!
  • There have been many seasons of hopelessness throughout history. Maybe this is such a season for you right now.
    • “Blue Christmas”
    • Perhaps you have lost someone this year due to death
    • Maybe you are struggling with your health.
    • Coronavirus has certainly taken its toll this year!
    • Maybe your loved ones are far away and you haven’t been able to see them.
    • Many this year have lost their jobs or their regular work hours, and are struggling financially, you might be one of them.
  • When things feel hopeless, we need a source of hope.
    • Not “I wish things were better”
    • Something that makes us say “things will be better.”
  • Father Christmas visits Narnia (pp. 102-103) – winter is not over yet, but Aslan is coming.
  • We can find this hope in something that has happened which points to something that will happen.
    • One night, more than 2,000 years ago, hope entered the world in the form of a baby.
  • “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices / for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!” (Placide Cappeau, 1847, tr. John S. Dwight)

The Hope of Christmas

  • The hope that Jesus brings attacks the root issue of all that is wrong in the world: sin.
  • “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, / Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.”
    • Sin blinds us and brings darkness – Isaiah 59:9
    • Sin separates us from God but a redeemer is coming – Isaiah 59:2
    • God himself was coming as a redeemer – Isaiah 59:20
  • This baby was born to poor parents, his birth took place far away from the comfort of his home, his first few years were spent even further away as a refugee in Egypt.
    • He experienced the hopelessness of the world so that he could redeem it.
    • He became like us so he could save us.
  • Titus 3:4-5 – “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared…”
    • This is good news! It is the beginning of things getting better.
    • All is not well yet, but this first coming of Jesus promises that he is coming again.

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

  • Jesus brings hope for all of humanity. He brings light to the darkness of this world. But the gift that he offers is not automatic, it has to be accepted.
  • “Joy to the world, the Lord is come! / Let earth receive its king; / let ev’ry heart prepare him room…” (Isaac Watts, 1719)
    • Have you prepared room in your heart for Jesus?
    • Have you opened the door to let him in?
    • Revelation 3:20-21 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…”
  • To accept this gift you need to:
    • Recognize that you are a sinner, that you are a part of the problem.
    • Repent, tell Jesus you are sorry and that you want to live differently
    • Thank him for coming into the world and dying on the cross for your sin.
    • Ask him to forgive you and come into your heart so that he can give you the strength to change.
  • All the things of this world will ultimately disappoint us.
  • All the people of this world will eventually let us down in one way or another.
  • Jesus is the only hope that will never fail us.
  • “Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

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