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yearC advent 1
Sermon for Advent 1: A. J. Gordon was the great Baptist pastor of the Clarendon Church in Boston, Massachusetts. One day he met a young boy in front of the sanctuary carrying a rusty cage in which several birds fluttered nervously. Gordon inquired, "Son, where did you get those birds?" The boy replied, "I trapped them out in the field." "What are you going to do with them?" "I'm going to play with them, and then I guess I'll just feed them to an old cat we have at home." When Gordon offered to buy them, the lad exclaimed, "Mister, you don't want them, they're just little old wild birds and can't sing very well." Gordon replied, "I'll give you $2 for the cage and the birds." "Okay, it's a deal, but you're making a bad bargain." The exchange was made and the boy went away whistling, happy with his shiny coins. Gordon walked around to the back of the church property, opened the door of the small wire coop, and let the struggling creatures soar into the blue. The next Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ's coming to seek and to save the lost -- paying for them with His own precious blood. "That boy told me the birds were not songsters," said Gordon, "but when I released them and they winged their way heavenward, it seemed to me they were singing, 'Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!'"
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The rest of this sermon following the outline above can be obtained by joining eSermons.
Or, sign up by calling toll free 1-800-350-8339
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Advent Sermon Series:
1: Let Us Go Over To Bethlehem & Find The Faith of Christmas - Lk 2:15-20
2: Let Us Go Over To Bethlehem & Find The Promise of Christmas - Mt 1:18-25
3: Let Us Go Over To Bethlehem & Find The Peace of Christmas - Lk 2:8-14
4: Let Us Go Over To Bethlehem & Find The Christ of Christmas - Lk 2:1-7
You may not remember Tom Southerland but you know his story. Several years ago Shiite Muslims in the Middle East held Tom Sutherland captive fore four years, much of his time was spent solitary confinement. In his speech after his captivity he asked an unforgettable question. He asked, “Do you know what it’s like to be in prison? To be held hostage? To be a captive? It’s very lonely and you worry that people will forget you. I felt abandoned. I didn’t think anybody even knew I was in prison.”
During his imprisonment, Tom Southerland could hear a radio that the guards had. It was tuned into the BBC channel and every day Tom Southerland would listen intently to the newscast hoping and praying that he might hear his name, hoping and praying that the newscaster would talk about him on the air and tell the story of his imprisonment and his innocence. But his name was never mentioned so he assumed that nobody in the United States even knew that he was being held hostage. Finally, after 4 years of captivity, Tom Southerland was released. Our government flew his wife, Jean, to the area so they could be reunited. They were so excited to see each other. A few days later, they flew home together to San Francisco. As they were getting off the plan back home in the United States, Tom Southerland was amazed to see that there were lights and television cameras, reporters and people holding signs… and a huge crowd at the airport. Tom turned to his wife and said, “Jean, look at all these people. There must be a celebrity on the plane with us. Look around and see if you can spot who it is.” And Jean said, “Honey, they are all here for you! It’s you! This is all for you!”
When his wife told him that, Tom Southerland started crying and he couldn’t stop. He sobbed like a little boy. He couldn’t believe it. He said, “I thought everybody had forgotten about me. I didn’t think anybody knew I was in captivity. I felt completely abandoned. I didn’t think anybody cared. Thank God I was wrong.”
The shepherds at the first Christmas must have felt something like that. Society had cast them out and pushed them down to one of the lowest rungs on the social ladder. They were considered unclean physically and spiritually… and they must have felt abandoned and forgotten. They must have felt like nobody really cared about them. But then they found out on that first Christmas night that, thank God, they were wrong. Somebody did care! The One who counts the most did care! He was there for them! Of all the people on the face of the earth, the Angel of the Lord appeared to them. And as they made their way to Bethlehem to see the Miracle of Christmas, they discovered in the process: three great gifts that Christmas gives to us; 3 great gifts that money can’t buy; 3 great gifts available now to you and me. Let’s take a look at these together.
I. FIRST OF ALL, THERE IS THE GIFT OF ACCEPTANCE.
II. SECOND, THERE IS THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS.
III. THIRD AND FINALLY, THERE IS THE GIFT OF CHRIST.