Isaiah 42:1-9 Psalm 29 Acts 10:34-43 Matthew 3:13-17 January 12, 2014
How did this past week go for you? Were you able to prepare for today’s worship service? Were you able to read at least the Bible passages for today? Were you able to pray for God to meet us here in the worship service?
It may take some time to get in the habit of preparing for worship. So for the next two weeks, read the Bible passages for the following Sunday and pray for the next Sunday’s worship service. This will prepare you for meeting God during worship.
For many years I have heard that the most important part of the worship service is the sermon. In the sense that the sermon usually takes the largest quantity of time in a worship service, then yes, the sermon is the most important part of the worship service. However, we can see that all four parts of the worship service are equally important. So, instead of looking at the flow of the service in order, we are going to skip to the part that is “Let Us Hear God’s Word” (GV)/”Proclamation and Response” (MO).
What is the message? The message is found in the reading of God’s Word and the hearing of God’s word proclaimed. The message changes us as we worship. Whether we have spiritual songs, psalms, or hymns sung in worship (Colossians 3), we are preparing for the hearing of what God has to say to us. Even the themes of our prayers point us to God’s word, read and proclaimed. It is in worship that we realize that God has a message for us. Yet, God’s message is for not just us, it is for everyone. Once we have heard the message of God proclaimed then we get to respond. One way we respond has to do with baptism, either getting baptized or remembering our baptisms.
- God has a message for us (Isaiah 42:1-9)
- God has a servant/son in whom he delights (v. 1)
- This servant will not cry, yell, or bring undo attention to himself
- He is going to bring justice to those fainting or crushed
- God, the Lord, will do this (v. 5)
- The servant’s tasks
- A covenant to the people, a light to the nations (v. 6)
- Open blind eyes
- Release the prisoners
- God told us he was going to do this work
- The God who thunders (Ps. 29:3)
- The God whose voice breaks cedars (Ps. 29:5)
- The God whose voice shakes the wilderness (Ps. 29:8)
- God’s word for us is his servant is coming! We know about being people without covenant/light. Before we knew God, we wandered aimlessly in this world. God has opened our eyes. We know see that God’s grace has guided us to the Lord. We are no longer to the things that keep us prisoner; we have been released by God’s actions! And we are not the only people who get to experience God’s actions or His word.
- God has a message for everyone (Acts 10:34-43)
- Peter, a Jew, could not keep people away from God
- Even one who did not keep the Jewish dietary laws, a Gentile, could be welcomed by God – Cornelius is an example
- Jesus Christ is Lord of all!
- Jesus is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead
- When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven our sins!
- God can bring Gentiles to know him. As people are ready to follow Jesus, God guides them to Jesus, or one of Jesus’ followers. With followers of Jesus, everyone gets to hear about Jesus’ death on the cross and his being raised on the 3rd day. The response for Cornelius and his family was to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. How about us?
- What do we do with the message that God has for us? (Matthew 3:13-17)
- John had been preaching about repenting, for the kingdom of heaven was near (it still is near!)
- John was baptizing people as they confessed their sins
- Jesus comes along!
- John did not want to baptize Jesus
- Jesus gets baptized to fulfill all righteousness
- Humanity had gone away from God
- God has come near to humanity – in the person of Jesus
- Jesus associates with our sin – he confesses that humanity has sinned
– He confesses that God is free of sin & wants us to be free of sin
- The Spirit of God descended upon Jesus
- The Voice of God spoke a blessing upon Jesus
- John’s baptism prepared the way for the Lord. Jesus came to be baptized to show that the way to the Lord was open. (It still is open!) Not only do we repent and confess our sins, but we also receive the Holy Spirit when we are baptized. We are declared to be God’s children when we are baptized. That is the message – God wants us, God gives a message that we need to hear. Jesus takes away our sins so we can get to God.
What is the message? God has a servant named Jesus. Jesus brings justice to everyone. He does this by being righteous – he fulfills the demands of the relationship that God has with all people. Jesus releases us from the prison that we have entered because of our sin.
The response to hearing this message is to be baptized. We get to say that we want Jesus to take away our sins. If we have already been baptized, then we remember what Jesus has done for us. What say you? Is it time for you to receive the message that God has for everyone? Is it time for you to be baptized? Is it time for you to live your baptized life?