Sermon- In Our Joy And In Our Sorrow, Luke 21:28 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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In Our Joy And In Our Sorrow

When these things begin to happen, stand erect and hold your heads high, for your deliverance is near at hand
Luke 21:23-28, 34-36

Sermon Topic Nativity

Sermon Week First Sunday of Advent Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 21:28


There is much joy in the Biblical account of the coming of Jesus. Reading the Nativity Stories in the Gospels can be an exhilarating experience. You can feel the joy, literally. In Luke's Gospel, for example, there is the joy of Mary when she learns that she is to become the mother of the Messiah. There is the joy of Mary and Joseph at the time of the child's birth. There is the joy of the shepherds who came in from their fields to adore the newborn Babe. There is the joy of the old couple, Simeon and Anna, when they encounter the Child Jesus in the Temple and recognize that their lifelong dreams of the Messiah's coming have been realized. There is the joy of the "Wise Men" as they enter the stable in Bethlehem after a long, difficult journey: they were "overjoyed," Matthew tells us. All through the Biblical account of Jesus' Nativity the joy is there for us to share in. But ... also you can feel the sorrow. We are cheating ourselves if we ignore the painful parts of the story, as many of us do. We do not like to suffer. We do not like to see others suffer. Consequently, we tend to gloss over this aspect of the story. But it is there, and it will not go away. Innocent children are slaughtered by Herod's soldiers. The Baby Jesus' life is in danger. Jesus, Mary and Joseph are forced to flee their homeland and become refugees.

The great Italian Artist, Raphael, understood this well. In his beautiful "Alba Madonna" (which hangs in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.), the Christ Child holds a little stick shaped in the form of a cross. Raphael understood that the shadow of the cross is present to the Christ story from the very beginning.

God comes to us in our joy. Each of us has special times of joy. And it is good to realize that God is with us-loving us-in these beautiful moments. Unfortunately, some of us seem never to live in the moment and enjoy it [...]

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