Sunday, December 16, we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Advent and we light the pink candle also know as the Shepherds’ candle. The Shepherds’ candle reminds us of how God sent the angels to proclaim His arrival to common man and that the Savior and King of this world came in a lower and more humble way than any of us could dare try. But, what’s the significance of angels appearing first to shepherds and not any of the spiritual leaders, the Rabbis or even the political leaders to announce that the real King has come? Why shepherds watching flocks by night? Was not a shepherd the lowliest of occupations at this time in this region who carried no position or power of any kind? If this is God Himself and the sovereign King, why would He not come with all the glory and honor that was due Him? Just as there is no one who can ascend above Him in heaven or on earth, there is no one who can humble themselves and descend below Him. Christ came for the broken, the poor, the fatherless and the widow. He came for wretched sinners. He came for us. He came into this world more lowly than us. He redeems us. The announcement came to lowly shepherds to remind us and show us that Emmanuel, God is with us, was getting ready to walk among His people and to save them. Let us rejoice that we have a King unlike any other; no earthly king would ever empty themselves of their glory to live in squaller among the people they rule. BUT, our King would and did! Let us remember that Christ is in all we deem unlovely. Let us desire to become like shepherds. Let us desire to be meek and lowly. Let us desire Christ.
Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. ~Isaiah 53:1-6 ESV
THE WORD PREACHED
Sermon: The Gospel in Pictures: 666
As With Gladness Men Of Old
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DECLARATION OF FAITH
Heidelberg Catechism: Questions 15-17
Question 15: What manner of mediator and deliverer, then, must we seek?
Answer: One who is a true and righteous man, and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is withal true God.
Question 16: Why must He be a true and righteous man?
Answer: Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should make satisfaction for sin; and because one who himself is a sinner cannot satisfy for others.
Question 17: Why must He withal be true God?
Answer: That by the power of His Godhead He might bear in His human nature, the burden of God’s wrath; and that He might obtain for us, and restore to us, righteousness and life.