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December 20th, 2008 at 8:15 pm

The Line of Promise – Third Homily – Dec 21, 08

Today we rejoice and exult in the truth that the God who made the heavens and the earth did not leave us to ourselves, alone in our alienation and rebellion. He did something. He came to us. He came to us as one of us. He opened up his heart to us. He died for us.

We are his servants. This is the time we have been given. What will we do with it? We are to be to our world as our Father has been, He who did not leave His world to itself, but went out to it. Likewise we are to look around us and see the world from His eyes and from His heart, and we are to go out to it. We are to be like Jesus the Son, who did not cling to his exalted privilege as God the Son but emptied himself in life, and in death, for the sake of others. His is our model of how we are to live in these times.

And this is our calling today in the time we have been given, to have the Father’s heart for a broken world.  In the time that we have, if we would serve our King, we must turn our gaze outward from ourselves to the world into which we have been put as his servants. Look out…Look out to your city….Look out to the world.

Look beyond your share in the American dream. Look beyond your needs, as real and significant and sometimes overwhelming as they are or may feel. You are a kingdom of priests. You are an army of spiritual warriors. You are agents of grace and mercy. You are heralds of a great truth.  Look out to your city! Love it.  Enjoy it.  Pray for it.  Hurt for it.  Serve it.  Weep for it. Make it better.

You have been placed here for a reason and a purpose. Don’t leave this place until you are called elsewhere, or until you have fulfilled your mission here. Seek the good of your city.  Sink your hands deep into its beauty and its ugliness.  Walk in its brightness and its darkness, always in the humility and holiness of Christ. You are here to make a difference for others. You are here to change the world for Jesus’ sake, one word, one act, one invitation, one day, one kindness, one conversation, one prayer at a time. Rise up O people of God, and seize the time you have been allotted!

Love your neighbors, the ones who live and work around you. Get to know them. Enjoy them. Serve them. And be ready in all seasons with the Word of the Gospel. Why make it so hard? Just talk about Jesus as you would talk about anything. If you are a servant of Jesus say so. If you believe Jesus to be alive, raised, from the dead, the son of God and savior of sinners, say so.

I pray for us at Covenant Fellowship that the year 2009 will be the year of our heart for the city, the year in which our hearts open up as never before for those around us. You know, we made our church structure at Covenant Fellowship simple for a purpose, for this purpose. Take advantage of it.

And so I call you today to consider baby Jesus. Consider Jesus who has come to us from the Father – Jesus who is Immanuel, God with us, God committed to us, God seeking us out. You are disciples of this Jesus.

So, go and be like Him in the time you have been given. Amen.

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