Unfolding the Master Plan

2021-12-19 – Year C – Advent 4 – Lessons and Carols – The Rev. Canon Christopher M. Klukas

Gen. 2:5-25; Gen. 3; Isa. 11:1-10; Isa. 40:1-11; Luke 1:5-25; Luke 1:26-38; Matt. 1:18-23

  • The Ulm Minster is the tallest church in the world (530 ft).
  • Planned and begun by Heinrich Parler in 1377, it was not completed until 1890
    • 513 years of construction.
  • “With countless architects and builders getting involved in the project, the church started to take on a life of its own. Not much of the edifice corresponds to the original blueprints. The reason for that was that as time progressed, it became clear that the soil wouldn’t be able to carry the massive tower.”
  • The construction also struggled through the protestant reformation and multiple spans of years in which there was no funding to continue.

God’s Long Range Plan

  • In the beginning God had a clear plan for the heavens and the earth, for the garden, and for Adam and Eve.
  • Unlike Ulm Cathedral which had many architects and builders along with way, God’s has overseen the development of his plan over thousands of years.
  • Genesis 3 – Eve says “no” to God and she encourages her husband to say “no” too.
  • God responds by saying “I didn’t see that one coming!”
    • Of course he saw it coming. He knew the risk involved in creating these two free creatures, but he does so anyway out of love. He also lovingly crafts a plan to restore both them and their descendents.
  • Throughout the OT, God does not reveal his plan in its totality, but he does leave lots of hints along the way. Some of them major hints and some more subtle.
    • Genesis 3:15 – The protoevangelium.
    • Isaiah 11 – The new shoot from the stump of Jesse.
    • Isaiah 40:10-11 – “Behold the Lord God comes with might…”
    • Isaiah 40:8 – “The word of our God will stand forever.”

The Fullness of Time

  • Galatians 4:4–5 – “the fullness of time”
    • “Here at last is the promised ‘seed’ of the woman who will crush the serpent’s head.”
  • The Annunciation – Luke 1:38 – Mary says “yes.” Contrast with Eve’s “no.”
  • “I was so moved by the awakening of the thought that Eve needed consoling: that she knew a rescuer was coming, but didn’t know who, or when. She waited so long, seeing the consequences of their disobedience, watching things disintegrate. What must have it been like to find out how God would do what he did?”
    • “Eve, my sister / The one who took the fall / Eve, my sister / Mother of us all / Lift up your head / Don’t hide your blushing face / The promised One / Is finally on His way.”
    • “Eve, it’s Mary / Now I’m a mother too / The child I carry / A promise coming true / This baby comes to save us from our sin / A servant King, His kingdom without end.”
  • Because Jesus has saved us from our sin, and because he has sent his Holy Spirit to move and work in our hearts, he has freed us to be able to say “yes” to God too.

The Time Yet to Come

  • Having reviewed these promises and their fulfillment in the incarnation, we can also remember those promises made in Scripture that have yet to be fulfilled.
  • Jesus promised that he would return for us in power and great glory.
  • He promised that he would finally set right all that is corrupt and broken
    • Revelation 21:5 – “Behold, I am making all things new.”
    • Revelation 22:20 – “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

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