So I wonder, do you have a favorite Christmas memory? So show of hands if you have a favorite or maybe it’s an annual tradition? Maybe it’s just like a one time memory. How many of you have one? Okay, good number. Yeah. So my favorite Christmas memory is sleeping in my grandma’s house as we call my grandmother, my mom’s mom. She has gone to be with the Lord. I miss her dearly. She went to be with Lord when I was 17. So it’s been a number of years since I’ve gotten to be with her. But here’s my favorite Christmas tradition memory from the Thompson household growing up. So we would go over there after Christmas Eve services, we’d all go Christmas Eve service together, and we go over to grams. We would have dinner together and hang out. Then when we go to sleep, we’d roll out these cots and there were four grandchildren. We’d lay on the cots in the living room, and Gram would sleep on the couch with us. So she come out of her bedroom, sleep on the couch with us. I can always remember I got my spot right underneath the fish tank, the glow of the goldfish. Coming down on me. There’s a grandfather clock in the room. It’s a very soothing sound a grandfather clock have you guys yeah, there’s old school big grandfather clock that would just kind of tick tock, tick tock and put us to sleep. There was a rule that you weren’t allowed to wake up until 6:30 in the morning, which is like torture for a child. I always remember my favorite footie pajamas. All right, light blue, sky, downhill skier on the front, I don’t know why I love them, there was no skiing in Texas, but those are my favorites. Were those every year and until I was too big for them. Like, you know, a little midriff showing completely inappropriate. It’s a joke, it’s okay to laugh a little bit. So I’d wear those. I remember going to sleep and I would wake up at like, five 5:30 every year, I want to be still asleep. I would wait, just watch that clock tick until 6:30. You know, 30 minutes felt like an hour, two hours, three hours. But eventually 6:30 would come and I would get up. Gram would always get up with me. We’d have one on one Gram and Trent time. That’s why I love this memory so much. We’d get up everybody else would be asleep. At Grandma’s house, you can have sugary cereal, Super Golden Crisp or Frosted Flakes. I mean, two really good choices strong, right. So I’d have the Super Goldern Crisp. We’d sit down and she’d have her coffee. We’d sit and we’d have a conversation till everybody got up and then eventually, everyone else would get up. That’s not as much fun. But we always had that one uncle who had to do his shower before we open the presents Do not be that uncle this Christmas, like raise your hand and say I will not be that family member. That keeps all the kids from opening their presents. I’m not bitter still. It’s I’m over it and let it go. When I think about Christmas, that’s the memory that comes to mind. For me. I wonder what it is for you. I hope you have some really beautiful memories from Christmases growing up. Maybe you don’t. Maybe as you think about this next month, maybe for you. It’s just getting through the next month. Maybe that’s what you’re feeling the need. I just I just have to get through the next month. Maybe it’s the first time without a loved one. Maybe it brings back bad memories of growing up. But every year as a church, we pause from whatever we’re doing whatever our regular kind of rhythms are, we’ve been studying the book of Galatians, we pause and we reflect upon the coming of Christ, God become flesh in the incarnation. We do it every year. Do you ever wonder why we do it every year? I mean, do you ever think maybe we just keep going and Galatians. Skip a year? Or do we really need to reflect on this every year. But this is an annual rhythm in the life of a church, not just our church, but every church. I mean, the church historically has always taken Advent as a season leading up to the birth of Christ, which we celebrate at Christmas. We’ve taken time to intentionally think about that. There’s a reason for that. As we do that, now, as we come into this Advent season, I would encourage you in a couple of ways, I don’t know if for you this season has a lot of times been about nostalgia, and just thinking back to your favorite memories, and maybe kind of bringing out the old family traditions and, and doing a lot of that or maybe as I said, it’s a season where you just man in the next month, I just need to get through it and then I’ll be able to breathe again and be okay. I want to encourage you that Advent is meant to be so much more than that. Now if you’re hurting, the Lord will be with you. He is as we hear Paul state of the Corinthians, The God of all comfort, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the who is the Father of Jesus and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction. The Psalms tell us that he’s near to the brokenhearted and the crushing spirit I trust. He’s gonna keep that promise for you in this season. But even in the midst of that, I want to encourage you that I hope as a church, we can seize Advent and just sort of squeeze the life out of it, if you will, you know, kind of get the marrow out of the bone and get everything that it’s meant to be for us because there’s great intentionality in Advent. I was restringing our Christmas tree lights. So we have a pre lit Christmas tree at the Thompson house. I’m allergic to regular Christmas trees. So we have the store bought the pre lit, which is awesome, you plug it in, well, we plugged it in this post Thanksgiving Friday, I’m very committed to not until Friday, after Thanksgiving, we plugged it in, and like two lights worked. So is highly disappointing, it’s gotten to be a little bit old. So we had to, so you have one of two choices, chuck it buy another one. I’m too cheap for that. Or to string it with regular lights, but then you can do it with the dead bulbs on there, and it doesn’t look quite as good. So what do we what did we do, we cut off every stinking light on that thing, and pulled all the strands hours of work this was but here’s the thing, those pre strung lights, they look really good, because they’re all tied in real nice and tight and you don’t see the wires and and so then when you go to string, so I just cut off all these lights took me hours to do, then I’m stringing the lights, something this does not look nearly as good. Because the lights are you know, the strings are kind of showing. When you’re up close, you’re kind of weaving them in and out of the branches. You’re going, oh my gosh, this looks terrible. But here’s the great news. When you back up away from the tree, and the lights are on and you strung it it actually looks really good. You put all the ornaments on and everything’s in place. You just have to back up in order to get the right perspective, right. Well, that’s what Advent is. It’s an invitation to back up. To get a better perspective. If you’re up close and personal right now with whatever is going on in life. Advent is an invitation to see the back up. To see that God wants to break in, in a new way. Just like he broke in the manger, and changed everything cosmically in all the universe, he changed it by coming into humanity. He’s wants to do the same thing, again with you. He wants to break in again this year. So my hope is that we can back up a little bit, take hold of Advent for all that it’s worth.

Now, I tend to think in terms of four things when I think of Advent and its purpose, when we back up what God often wants to renew in us four things, a sense of mystery, a sense of wonder, a sense of longing and a sense of anticipation. Will tell you just quickly what I mean there. We know that in Christ Jesus, God is He is the mystery of God revealed Jesus is the mystery of God revealed. So in one sense, the mystery is solved. Christ has come, we now know God’s design for salvation, we know his plans for another return. But in another way we hear the scripture say, as high as the heavens are above the Earth. so are My ways God says above your ways, how many of us agree, we know that the mystery of God has revealed in Christ and yet there’s a lot of mystery about what goes on in our world and in our lives. There’s much that we do not know about what will unfold what will come in the days ahead. That mystery is meant to draw us to God, that he is at work in a cosmic scale, far beyond us and above us, that we don’t fully comprehend. He looks to restore that sense of mystery in us that to follow him is to walk into a not a frightening mystery. But a mystery that then brings more wonder from us a greater sense of all at the scale of what God has done and what he’s doing. Then in that increased sense of wonder there’s an increased longing for his work to come. That’s part of what Advent is, it’s a reminder that we need to we have this sense of longing. Remember, that before Jesus came, the people of God has been 400 years, not hearing from the Lord. There had been silence, the Lord is preparing in that silence to do something magnificent. Into that silence, he spoke through His Son, sending him into the world. In the same way every Advent, we’re reminded that we are waiting for God and longing for him to renew all things. That grows our sense of anticipation, because we know that he will do that. We anticipate it not as a maybe this will happen and maybe it won’t, but as a reality that will come to pass. So every Advent as we back up, we are meant to recapture sense of mystery, and wonder and anticipation and longing. This afternoon. Here’s how I’m hoping we can do that. We’re going to come together each Sunday and we’re going to reflect upon this question, why did Jesus come? Why did he come into the one of there’s lots of answers we could give to that question, but we want to look at his own words. There are a handful of places in the gospels that when Jesus says here’s why I came He answers that question for us. So if you will, in his own words, we want to understand why did Jesus come? As he answers that question for us to see that it’s an invitation to grow our sense of mystery and wonder, and longing, and anticipation. So look, friends I’ve noticed are take on a forced march. So my hope and explaining all that is that I might sort of if I could help turn the wheel of your heart just a little bit and say, Okay, I’ll try it. I’ll try going there with you. Allowing myself to be open to this kind of pondering and thinking, by the way, it’s gonna take some intentionality on your part over the next month, over the season of Advent, to ponder and think and reflect and make space and not fill the schedule, with everything under the sun. But to take time to pause and reflect so that you can back up and see that Christmas tree not up close, where all the strands are viewing and showing, but to back up and to see the beauty of God’s work from a further distance.

So first answer to the question, Why did Jesus come, we’re gonna look at today. It’s a very simple one, Jesus in John chapter six, verse 37, through 40, that’s going to be our text today. So if you’ve got a bible, you can turn there, John 6:37 to 40. He answered the question this phase, he says, I came to do my father’s will, I came to do my father’s will. There’s three things that we can draw from the passage we’re going to read today that help us grow our sense of mystery and wonder. Number one, is that the divine sons submitted to the Divine Father, just one of these three statements I want to try and leverage when Jesus came to do the Father’s will, the first thing I want you to hear in that is, is the divine Son, submitted to the will the Divine Father, I’ll explain what that means. Then the second thing I want you to see is he’ll explain what the Father’s Will is, he came to do the Father’s will, and he tells us what that will is. We’ll see that he came both to win a people for God, and to keep a people for God. It was God’s will, that through Jesus, he would win a people for Himself, and that he would keep a people for Himself. We’re gonna reflect upon the mystery of that now. So let’s read together, John six, verse 37, through 40, they say this. Jesus speaking says, All that the Father gives Me, All that the Father gives Me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will never cast out. Just pause for a moment, you need that promise. All that the Father gives to me, I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent me that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me. But raise it up on the last day. Four, this is the will of my Father, that everyone and get this phrase, everyone who looks on the sun, and believes in Him should have eternal life. And I will raise him up on the last day. Now, in this text, Jesus gives us our first answer, as I said to this question, why did I come?

Why did Jesus come, he came to do the Father’s will. So let’s look at that first thought that the whole context of this passage invites us to see is that the divine sons submitted to the will of the Divine Father. Reason I say it that way. Because the thing that we first need to see is that the one submitting here in this passage when Jesus I came to do not my will, but the Father’s will, this is not an ordinary human being speaking. This is not you are i with all our faults and flaws and finite minds and lack of capacity, saying, I will submit to someone far greater, far grander, far wiser than I am, this is Jesus who is Co-eternal, Co-omniscient, Co-omnipotent. He is in every way equal with God, and yet declares that he will submit to the will of the Father. At least one conclusion to be drawn from that is, if Jesus himself is willing to submit to the will of the Father, who else should be willing to submit to the will of the Father. That would be you and I. But let me go even a little bit further because there’s something we need to understand here. It’s a theological concept than a theological concept called the hippistatic union. All right now, that’s not a phrase we throw around every Sunday. All right, so let me explain what that is when we’re talking about the hippistatic union, we are talking about in the one person Jesus, there are two natures a divine nature and a human nature. You read this sentence, it might occur to you to say, Well, does Jesus have a different will than the father? If Jesus is God in the flesh, then wouldn’t he have always the exact same will as the Father? So why would we find him in the garden of Gethsemane? saying something like, let this cup pass from me, yet not my will. But yours are in this passage I came to do not my will, but the will of the Father, that can be a bit confusing, because you might think, Well, gosh, that seems to paint it as if Jesus has a will that is contrary to the will of the Father. Yet how could that be? If he’s God? In the flesh? Do you see the challenge of the passage? Yes. That’s where this really rich truth that the church is taught for 2000 years, called the hippistatic union comes into play, where we understand that in the one person Jesus, not two persons one, there are two natures, a divine nature, and a human nature. One nature sometimes does things the other nature does not do. So when we hear that Jesus was tempted in every way, yet without sin that we get without sin, it’s really important, okay, tempted in every way, yet without sin, and we hear elsewhere in Scripture, God may not be tempted by sin, God is never tempted by sin, we ask, well, how can both those things be true? The answer is, because Jesus possesses two natures, he possesses a divine nature and the human nature. This, by the way, is why we can say Jesus did not relinquish any of his divine attributes, even while he was on the earth. Well, how can Jesus be omnipresent, while he’s in a physical body, in His divine nature, he continued to possess every single one of the attributes of the Divine, even while in his human nature, there were limitations placed upon him as fully human, everybody follow. So this is why Jesus can say, in His divine nature, Jesus will is always perfectly aligned with the will of the Father, there is no separation or distance between them. But it’s why in his human nature, Jesus can say, I don’t desire to suffer, I don’t desire to die, just like you and I would not desire to suffer. I agree. No one would say, This is my great desire. Yet Jesus submits his in his human will, to the will of the Father. That’s why he can say here, not my will. Not this human will in me that doesn’t want to suffer. It doesn’t want to die. Not my will. But your will. This, by the way, is the answer to the complete silliness, that is sometimes taught that the death of Jesus on the cross bearing the wrath of God, some people argue that Jesus did not bear the wrath of God on the cross, even though the scriptures testify the exact opposite, he absolutely bore the wrath of God on the cross. He is why the idea that that is divine child abuse, and therefore not true is what people sometimes teach is absolute silliness. Because in His divine nature, Jesus planned salvation with God before the foundation of the earth. Then deemed it right and good is the son to come. So God was not the author of salvation apart from Jesus, than bringing the wrath of God upon Jesus, who was an unwilling participant in it. Jesus was the author and planter of that salvation process with God the Father, from eternity past. Do you see the importance of this? Now, all of that is to say this, if, if I lost you in there somewhere, forgive me, all right. But here is the point of all that. When we see in Jesus, the divine become human. What we are seeing is the first true example of what it means to be a human being. Jesus, when we say he’s fully God, and fully human, we’re not just saying he’s completely human, we’re saying he is the most fully human person, he is the personification of what humanity is to be. He is the perfect human, the perfect man, so that you and I, when we understand, what’s my purpose in life, what am I to be like? How am I to live? How am I to think I look at him, and I say that is human perfection. That is what humanity is intended to be, which means I draw all of my direction, purpose, place, sense of how life is supposed to be lived, from that child in the manger. The one who was ushered in, has taught me how to be human. Here’s what that means for us. If Jesus in His humanity says I submit to the will of the Father, what that means for you and I is to be true truly human, in the kind of flourishing humanity that God intended for us to have to be truly human, I must not exert my will, I must submit my will. The path to joy and purpose and meaning is not through the exertion of my will, it is through the submission of my will.

Now, that can be a scary thing, but given examples, listen to a podcast, and maybe a week or two ago, and they were discussing Scientology and all its abuses. They were doing a great job of unpacking all the foolish and really degrading abuses of Scientology in its teaching. What was interesting is the two people talking about it, I don’t believe were, they never referenced Christ, I don’t believe they’re followers of Christ. So their conclusion was so interesting to me, because after basically listing all of these degrading realities, and how false this worldview was, of Scientology, their conclusion was, therefore any worldview that teaches I must submit my own will to someone else, is not good. I’m everything. That’s the wrong conclusion. I thought none. The conclusion is, choose the right person to submit your will to choose the one who has sent His Son to die for you. Choose the one who’s proven his love over and over and over again. Because here’s the thing to say, I won’t submit my will to anyone else is only to become a slave to my own will. How has that worked for most of us? Not well, my own will, can be as much of a slave driver, as the will of another person who wants to manipulate me or control me, my own sinful desires, shoot me off in directions, I should not go to the path to life friends, in all of that, here’s the summation of it. The path of true human flourishing, the path of life and joy and peace and purpose is found in the submission of our wills, not in the exertion of our wills. Ponder that for a while. Think about what it means for all the places where that Your will strikes up and says, No, I want to go a different way. I want to move in a different direction. That’s the first thing that we look at. Here’s the thing. Now, let me take that even a step further. Because when I say that the path to human purpose and meaning and joy is found through submission of the will, to the Father, because that’s what Jesus demonstrated for us when he came, I came to do the will of the Father. Try viewing that if you kind of look at it from the side, one of the things you see is that that doesn’t mean I just bow my will sort of be crushed by the will of the Father No, no, view it this way. It’s an invitation to participate in plans are so big and so grand. So mysterious, and so broad, that it’s almost laughable that you and I would have any role in them. God is renewing, through Jesus, all of creation, the stars, the sun, the moon, the grass, the mountains, and purchasing a people for Himself and renewing them the greatest mystery. No, the world is not the cosmos lying beyond our known space, the greatest mystery in all the universe is the inner workings of your heart. And he is renewing it. He is shaping. He is bringing it into line with his desires and plan. Do you see the cosmic and the minute work of God in this universe, He is everywhere at work in ways you and I cannot fathom. And when he says submit your will to me and find joy in life and peace. What he’s saying is come join my work. Come join a work grander and bigger in scale than the entire cosmos. Do you see what I mean? When I say it’s almost laughable that we’d have any part in this? Nonetheless, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, He says, come and be part. Come and be part of the submission of our wills is an invitation to a great adventure.

The second statement that we can make, as we learn that Jesus came to do the will of the Father is that Jesus came to win people to God. So we saw this in verse 40. So put your eyes back in the text here. Let’s remind ourselves of it again. Because after saying that everyone who the father has given him will come to him down in verse 40, he says, this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the sun and believes in Him should have eternal life. Now, that may be a relatively common verse For if you’ve been in church while but I want to remind you that there is every word of that verse matters. I mean, every word and I want to remind you how he what he just said he didn’t say, Everyone who hears the facts about the sun and believes will have eternal life. How does God when people through Jesus, everyone who looks on the sun and believes will have eternal life? God is winning. It’s God’s will to win a people for Himself through Jesus, how does he win them, by causing them to set their eyes upon His perfection? This perfect, divine, perfect human. In Him, all the mystery of God unfolded, there is nothing low or insufficient. There is nothing base. There is nothing sinful. There is no imperfection. There’s no change or shifting shadow with him. As we look upon Jesus, we are one to God, by His beauty, by His glory, by His Majesty, if you’ve been reconciled to God, through Jesus, it is not because you believed a set of facts. It is because you looked upon him and saw in him someone who was like no one else. He stands alone, to recapture mystery, to recapture wonder, and anticipation and longing, you have to recapture a sense of wonder that Jesus himself has purchased you. You have to be fascinated by him. You have to be amazed by him. Do you remember how he won you? Do you remember? I remember being a little kid. Every time we read the Bible, you know what I remember thinking? I don’t remember thinking. I get the facts. Yes, I’m a sinner. Yes, I need a savior. Yes. I don’t remember that. You know what I remember. I remember reading. I remember thinking no one is like Jesus. No one is who he is. That’s what I remember. We look upon him. Then looking upon him, he wins us. If you’ve truly looked, if you’ve truly looked, there is no one more beautiful than him. No one more astounding or stunning. That’s what we mean. When we say he came to win people. I’ve heard grandparents say from time to time, I’m not one. So I’m going to trust. My grandparents have said this. It’s pretty amazing to have a kid they say it’s more amazing to have a grandkid. Is that right? grandparents? Yeah. You look at those little babies, and you say they’re perfect. Everything about them, it’s because you’re not changing their diapers. You’re you just this may be the closest sort of human experience that I seem to be seeing is these grandparents who look at these little ones, and they’re just in awe. There’s been this longing for these little ones. They’ve come and now oh, they’re just perfect and everything about them. It’s just amazing. That’s not true. They’re sinners. But I wonder if that feeling. I didn’t hear what was said. Gonna move on. But I wonder if the reason we have that sort of instinct or impulse to look at that little one and just just perfect perfection, a little blanket? I wonder if that’s there. Because when we look at the one in the manger, that’s the only one for him. That’s absolutely true. That in him he is perfection. There is no flaw in him and it just want to remind us of at an Advent we are to marvel at the person of Jesus. marvel at him fully God, fully human, astounding and wisdom perfect and love perfect and tenderness. You know if you’re we talked about this maybe a season where you just you’re struggling to do more than just get through it because there’s hurt or pain or you’re dealing with loss right now estrangement. Turn to Him, see him see him. A broken reed he will not break. He is tender with you. Kind full of compassion.

With two questions. This makes me ponder when I think okay, the will of the Father is to win people through Jesus. So in this Advent, two questions come to mind. For me, number one, how am I showing the world I’m satisfied by Jesus, more than I’m satisfied by anything else. What if I viewed witnessing, telling others about eternal life. You know, this, this great joy of evangelism. What if I viewed it as just talking about how satisfied I am in Jesus. You know, we talk about new car warranties like we’re satisfied by them. We talk about the Thanksgiving feast that we just had. We’re like the mashed potatoes. Oh, my goodness. Right. That’s the right answer, by the way to the best food on your Thanksgiving table. It’s the mashed potatoes. We talk about things that satisfies all the time. What if we talked. What if evangelism was talking about Jesus, like he satisfied us like nothing else could satisfy us more than a husband or wife more than a child more than a restored relationship that we longed to be restored? More than any other thing? Where his his hours? That’s the question I find myself asking. Not only that, then but the second question is, if God’s purpose in Jesus was to win people to Himself, how am I joining him? How am I in some intentional way, joining the church family, let me say, there should be ways that all of us are intentionally joining God in that work. I don’t just mean randomly by happenstance, but we have a way that we unfold our lives and a rhythm in our lives that says, this is on my mind. This is a part of my weekly rhythm to think about how I can speak about the satisfaction of Jesus relate to those who are far from him. Because Jesus came to do the will of the Father. The will of the Father was that all who would look upon Him and believe, would have eternal life. So we hear in verse 40. The third statement that we can make out of this text is that Jesus came to keep people for God. This is awesome, because he doesn’t just say here, I am going to win people. Then who knows what will happen after that? I’m going to win people. I’m also going to keep them. So let me remind us look, again, three times in these verses in verse 37. Jesus says, All the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will never cast out. Then in verse 39, he says, this is the will of Him who sent me that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me. But raise it up on the last day, there’s a reason he says, I’ll raise it up on the last day so that you and I wouldn’t think well, maybe he’ll keep us for a while, but then it’s gonna get really hard to hold on. So maybe he won’t keep us all the way to the end. He says, No, I will keep you until the very end. He says the same thing in verse 40. I will raise it up on the last day. He says three times, do you think that’s important? He really only talks about winning us once, maybe twice, verse 40, you could probably call verse 37. Here about winning us. But three times he talks about keeping us it’s almost as if he knew we might be insecure enough to wonder if he could. He needed to tell us three times I will keep you, I will keep you, I will keep you, I will hold on to you. You do not have to be afraid. The question that begs us is do we walk through life with the sense of security and confidence that comes from knowing you are being held on to by the Divine Son? The child in the manger, because he was fully divine, was at the very same moment that he was laying in the straw, holding the universe together by the Word of His power. Ponder that for a moment. infant child. Divine Being, all the universe, every planet spinning in its place, every star held in the sky through the power of that one. Lying in a manger. He is a mystery. Is he not? Astounding? The same one who holds the stars in the sky and makes the planets hold their orbit and keeps everything together. The one who makes your heartbeat he is keeping you no one and nothing can take you from him.

So why be overcome by insecurity? Why be overcome by fear? Why be overcome with worry? Whatever your circumstances hard were easy, and both are there he is keeping you. There is nothing to fear. Galatians four that we looked at two weeks ago, told us that before we came to Jesus, we were slaves to the elementary spirits of the world, you recall that text that we looked at, were slaves to the elementary spirits of the world. Let me let me tell you a story. Paint a picture of this. Before we knew Christ, we were slaves and we had a master, imagine yourself under the burning sun. In a field, being told to make bricks over and over from the mud and the straw and your master, every day would come out and declare to you that it was not good enough and he would beat you mercilessly. without compunction, he would beat you within an inch of your life, say get up and make more bricks. Every day, your singular goal was to avoid a beating as much as you could. Then you slept out in the freezing cold, curled up in an animal pen, destitute, and without hope, every day, just like the last every day, another beating every day, not good enough, every day. One day, as you sat and made bricks, and as you prepared for the rod of your master to come down on your back and your head one more time, and to beat you into submission yet again. The King walked into your field and said to your slave master, here is the ransom for this slave. Let her go. Let him go. He purchased you. You thought to yourself, Okay, I guess I’m now going to become the slave of this one of this king. So you began to follow him. He walked you back to his house to his palace. You thought, Well, maybe he seems kind, maybe I’ll have a place in the stable. Maybe there’ll be a little bit more warmth, maybe there’ll be fewer beatings. He wants you right past the stable and into the house. He walked you up the stairs and into a bedroom that was palatial in size. He said look out over the windows. You saw the grandest view of the landscape. He said, this is now your home. You thought we what? This is your home, and then he put on you a royal ring. He put upon you a royal robe. He cleaned you allowed you to go bathe, and took all the stink off of you from all of those years of servitude. Then when you came back into the room closed, he said, he unrolled a document for you. It was a document of adoption. He said I brought you here not to be my slave, I brought you here to be my son. You have been adopted into my family, you are my daughter. You belong to me. Then he said, Come Come to the banquet. You walked into a giant dining hall full of richest food that you have ever seen. You sat down and he said partake eat as much as you want. Day by day, meal by meal, you sat with a king at the table and you laugh together. You share the stories of your day. You talked about the hardships of the moment and he comforted you and he told you jokes and you laughed and you enjoy one anothers company and you spent every day together. Every day he said I’m well pleased with you. You’re my son, I love you. I’m well pleased with you. You’re my daughter, I love you. But every once in a while you go back up to your room and looking out this gorgeous window. That slave master would come back underneath your window every once a while and he would yell things at you. Things like you’re not really part of that family. You don’t belong there. You’re gonna come back to me one day, they’re gonna get tired of you and kick you out. It may seem good, but you don’t actually have a place at that table the way you think you do. You think you’re a son, you think you’re a daughter, but you’re not really. Sometimes you start to lean out the window because you think that’s probably right. That’s probably true. In fact, the same guy says just go ahead and come on down. You might as well come join me now because they’re gonna kick you out eventually when they remember who you really are. All the while the sun only needs to turn to The father and say, father help. The Father will rush outside and drive the slave master off and say to him, shut your mouth and leave my son alone. You have no voice in the life of my daughter, your day is done. They are no longer your property. They are my son, they are my daughter, and I keep them. You can’t have them.

Don’t be overcome by fear. The father drives the slave master off. He’s your father, and you have a place at his table. You can sit and dine with him every day. Talk to him. Tell him your greatest fears and concerns and worries and troubles and rejoice. He is so glad to sit and dine with you. Jesus keeps us because it is the will of the father that he would keep us. So we no longer need be afraid, then that I don’t know anything to make me long, and anticipate the return of Jesus more than that. The one who keeps me will come from me and raised me up on the last day. So friends, my hope is that this Advent season, we would back up and see the tree from afar and begin to recapture a sense of mystery and wonder and anticipation and longing. Let’s pray together. For Jesus, we thank you that you have purchased us, one us. We thank you for this truth that you are keeping us having won us and we thank you that you have taught us what it means to be truly human, that you have taught us that in the submission of our wills, we find life. So it was not to be afraid of that. You are a kind and gentle and loving father. And we delight to submit to you. Now, Lord, we sing to you. Because as we’ve heard your word it’s just the thing that wells up in us is to want to praise you. So would you receive our praises? Let them be pleasing to your ears. We pray in the name of Jesus your son, Amen.

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