Do you ever find yourself in situations with people who are experts in something you have no clue about, you can tell they’re speaking English, but the words don’t make any sense to you? I don’t know about you, but when I’m in those situations I feel really dumb. On the Jewish day of Pentecost a couple thousand years ago, there were a lot of people in Jerusalem who spoke different languages, people from all over the world who weren't able to understand each other. And with all those people there that day, speaking all those different languages, God did something wonderful. He showed that His message of life and love was for all people. No barriers. Today we’ll talk about how we can show God’s love for all people in powerful ways.
God’s message of love and life needs to be communicated clearly.
Acts 2:1-13 The Holy Spirit empowered the believers to tell God’s message in the languages of those present. Some people made fun and thought the believers were drunk. Wonder if the language we use in the Church is unclear. Talk about: “What are some ways we do things in church that could feel like a different language for those who have never been to church?
John 3:16 – God’s Message is for the whole world.
Acts 1:8 – A God-sized task requires God-powered messengers.
Acts 1:14, 2:4 – The way to be empowered by the Spirit is to pray for it.
Acts 1:14, 2:4 – The way to be empowered by the Spirit is to pray for it.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
During this Series, we have focused on Making our Message about What God has done and is doing in our world. Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, began with doubt but celebrated God’s work in his life. Mary sang when she learned that the Messiah would be born to her. Joseph was guided in his role as the protective father of the Messiah. The shepherds were going about their work when the angel chorus informed them of what had happened in Bethlehem and how they could find it. They shared with everyone they met what they had discovered.Last week, we saw the Magi, persistently seeking to find this one who was born King of the Jews. This week we meet Simeon who was ready when the time came to recognize the Messiah, God at work in our world, come to earth to seek and to save what was lost. Our lives resonate with these people as they each connected to God’s mighty work of saving the world. We answer the question today, “How can I be ready when the time comes?” for me to help build the Kingdom of God in our world.
This morning we feature more of the people who were there at the time of Christ's birth--the Magi. Through their experiences, we learn about our own connection to God's work--"His Mission" and then our response of faith and life becomes "Our Message". The sermon will consider what we are searching for in life and how that impacts our decisions and direction.
Also, this morning we'll be honoring the leadership and legacy of our Pastor Emeritus--Rev. Ron Schmidt. His eighteen years of ministry in Fremont has impacted and influenced many for the cause of Christ. Let's appreciate all that God has done through him in building the Kingdom of God.
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
SUBMIT TO _______________________________
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
1 Thess 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
LET THE SPIRIT _______________________________
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Galatians 4:19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.
Colossians 1:27 God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
GET YOUR _____________________________________________
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
MAKE THE _________________________________________
46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.
FOCUS ON __________________________________________
See God’s __________________ 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation…_______________
See God’s __________________ 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts…_______________________
2 Cor 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
See God’s ___________________ 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. _____________________
See God’s ___________________ 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty._____________________
See God’s ___________________ 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors._________________________