10th Sunday after Pentecost
Genesis 1:1-2, 26-31 – God created the crown of His creation- people
In the name of Jesus dear friends in Christ, one of the portions of God’s Word which the children learned this past week is the Creation account (read text). God created everything by just saying the word. Just think for a moment about the stars in the sky. How many stars do you think there are in the sky? I was once told by someone studying sky light rays (or something like that) that on a clear night you could see up to 3,000 stars just with your eye, 100,000 if you had a nice telescope and there’s about 100 billion stars in our galaxy and about 100 billion galaxies we know about. Now just think about it…God created all of those by simply saying the word, and there they were! Can you begin to fathom God’s amazing, awesome, majestic power!! Can you fathom God’s almighty power and infinite wisdom!! Wow!
But it doesn’t take long for us to consider the vast expanse and enormity of our galaxy and then the thousands of other galaxies in the universe and wonder, “who am I?” “Who am I in comparison? Who am I in the grand scheme of things? What minute significance I must be in comparison to everything else in the universe! What does God care about me? Does He even care about the struggles I am facing from day to day? Does he care? Does He even know about me? Well, if He doesn’t know about me, then He must not care how I live or what I do.”
God in His power and might certainly created a vast universe. He spoke the word and everything came into being. It’s easy for us to admit with the Psalmist, “What is man that you are mindful of him? (8:4)” But have you ever noticed the progression of how God created the world. Each of the six days He created it in an orderly fashion. Each day he made the earth more suitable for His final creation. Each day He was building up to the climax and pinnacle of His creation. He created everything else in Creation to serve the prize of His creation. Who are they? Human beings. God created people in His image; He gave them rule and dominion over the earth. Human beings are created as God’s special object of love. That includes you! God created you, formed you carefully and meticulously inside your mother. Yes God cares most about human beings like you than the rest of His creation! And think about it, God sent His Son in the likeness of whom? Human being, like you! God sent His Son in human flesh to save the “star” of His creation, human beings, like you! Yes God cares about you! Yes God knows you! Yes you are the prize of God’s creation!
Portions of Genesis 3, 12, 15, 18, 21 – God is faithful to His promises
We make promises a lot, don’t we? “I promise I’ll be home by 5.” “I promise I’ll have that done by tomorrow.” But the problem is no matter how great a track record we have at keeping our promises we’re never 100 % sure we can keep them. Why? Think about it, if I promise I’ll meet you at your house at 3pm tomorrow, I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep that promise, I may get lost, I may get in a car wreck, I may not even remember.
Well, what about God- does He keep His promises? God’s Word is full of promises. God has given many promises to us as well. We need to know that God is always going to be faithful to His promises so that we’ll know He’ll keep the ones He’s given to us. So what did God do? He gave us His faithful track record of promises in His Word. Starting with Adam and Eve God promised that an offspring of Eve’s would come to win the victory over sin, death, and the devil which their sin had brought into the world. Then God came to Abraham and told him that it would be through his descendants that the Savior would come and that all nations on earth would be blessed through him. God also told Abraham to look up into the stars and try counting them, so many would be his descendants. But there was a problem. Time passed on and on and on and Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was not pregnant. Sarah even laughed when God gave Abraham the message that Sarah in her old age would give birth to a son. God’s promise to Abraham came in Genesis chapter 12 and it wasn’t until Genesis 21 when Abraham was 100 and Sarah ass 90 when we read, “Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.”
God will always keep His promises, what about us? A typical confirmation promise sounds like this: “Do you intend faithfully to conform all your life to the rule of God’s Word and make diligent use of the means of grace and live in a God-pleasing manner? A typical wedding promise sounds like this: “will you love your wife as Christ loved the Church? Will you be faithful to her, cherish her, support her, and help her in sickness and health as long as you both shall live?” That means putting the best interests of my spouse ahead of mine. Unfortunately each one of us has to admit that we’ve failed often to keep promises. And we’ve failed to keep even the promises that we’ve made not only before people but also before the Almighty Triune God.
Yet, God will always keep His promises. God is the only one in our lives who CAN and WILL always fulfill, always make good on, always do what He promises! And what has He promised? “Though your sins are as scarlet they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). “As far as the east is from the west so far has He removed your transgressions from you” (Psalm 103:12). In Jesus, those are promises you can always count on, because God, your heavenly Father, always keeps His promises!
Matthew 2:1-12 – God fulfilled His most important promise, a Savior for you!
Our final meditation on God’s Word this morning which the children learned in VBS this week comes from Matthew where God tells us about how He used a star to lead some people to see their Savior. (Read Text).
Put yourself in the shoes of one of those Magi- by the way we don’t know how many there were, there could have been 2 or 70 we don’t know. They set out from the East (again we’re not exactly sure from where- perhaps Persia- modern day Iran). They saw the star in the East and set out for the land of Judea, but then the star disappeared. Now try to imagine how they felt after arriving in Jerusalem after traveling for many days and expecting to find their Savior and then no one knows what they are talking about! Everyone is carrying on as business as usual and not even the ruler knows anything about a new king’s birth. This huge event just happened in their midst and no one has a clue!
In some ways their eagerness and devotion to see their Savior puts us to shame, doesn’t it? It’s so easy for us to get distracted and get caught up with the temporary and forget the eternal. To focus on the earthly and forget the spiritual. To dwell on what I want and forget what God wants. Lord, have mercy on us! Although we may forget God’s promises, He never has and never will forget them. Although we may be unfaithful, God is always faithful!
Notice what He did for the Magi. The star reappeared. And did you notice their joy when they saw the star? Literally the Greek says, “they rejoiced joy great very”- probably one of the most superlative ways you can say they were very glad! Imagine their joy as they peered through the door of Joseph and Mary’s house to see with their very own eyes their salvation, their Savior! And what joy is yours! You who can see with the eyes of faith in God’s very own Words the birth of Your Savior, the baby Jesus, the Savior of the world, who came to this world with the express purpose of winning for you the riches of a life eternal in heaven that will never end! Yes, God fulfilled His promise, Jesus came, and He came for you!
So, let’s be reminded of God’s promises again and again through reading God’s Word! Let’s respond to God’s promises by striving to keep our own promises! Let’s respond to God’s faithfulness by being faithful to our own words! Let’s respond to God’s sure promise of salvation by sharing it with our family, friends, and acquaintances. Yes, thank the Lord for His faithfulness enables us to be faithful! Amen.