December 20, 2015
Text: Micah 5:2-5
It’s already the fourth Sunday in Advent- in four short days it will be Christmas Eve. It seems theseason of Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year- and every year we hear the old, oldstory of God’s unfailing love for you and I- it is the most important story we will ever hear- everneed to know- and yet, the message of the manger- and the cross- and the empty tomb is toooften missed or dismissed among all the hustle and bustle of the season. The story begins righthere. It is the wonder of God with us- lying in a manger full of grace and truth. It is God’s storybecoming ours.-of God choosing us to be His- and being part of something bigger thanourselves- not for our glory- but for God’s. Pray.Do any of you remember choosing teams and playing ball outside at recess growing up? Forsome- choosing teams may have been one of the most stressful time of the day-maybe even morestressful than taking a test. Wondering: “will I be chosen?” And: “Will I be good enough if Iam?”And when we get older-we bring with us some of those same fears into our thoughts as adults-even in church. “Will God choose me for something? Do I have to fit into a certain mold- knowall the right words before God can use me?” The answer is yes- God has already chosen you- andno- you don’t have to fit into a certain mold- God made you perfect the way you are for thepurpose He has chosen you.The last few Sundays- we have read and talked about a man called John the Baptist. John wasnot your conventional church guy- even in Jesus time. He was loud and outspoken withconviction and certainty- taking every chance he could to tell anyone and everyone to prepare theway of the Lord like a prophets before him. Repent! The promised Messiah is coming- even nowon your door steps- repent! Here was a man full of energy and who knew how to get a job done.Even before he was born-in his mother’s womb- he apparently understood God’s calling on hislife as witnessed in today’s reading. When his mother Elizabeth heard the voice of Mary, themother of Jesus the Messiah- he jumped for joy in his mother’s womb! Hearing the story makesus certain that here was the kind of person God was looking for- the kind of person God wouldalways choose first.But today, the last Sunday before Christmas- we hear of someone who was- in many ways- justthe opposite- a quiet, unassuming, teenage girl that God had chosen for the job of giving birthand raising God’s Son in the flesh while here on earth. Did God make a mistake? NO! God nevermakes a mistake. When God chose John the Baptist and Mary- they were both an intentional,deliberate choice- and perfect for the call. And even though on the outside they may haveappeared completely different- on the inside, they were more alike than first appears.
What kind of person does God look for when he has a job to do? Someone well qualified for thejob? Well, yes- but what makes a person qualified? Someone with a lot of experience? Someoneperfect? It is not our outward qualifications that God seeks- but a heart for God and Hiskingdom- someone who humbly trusts God to be their strength in their weakness and failings.Someone who knows that they have been saved- and called- by grace- and not anything theyhave done.The bible is full of people God called who drug their feet and made excuses- Moses argued hecouldn’t speak- Jonah tried to run from it- Jerimiah claimed he was too young. The list ofexcuses goes on and on.I read an article by Dr. Lamb this week. Dr Lamb is the director of Lutherans for Life. In it, hetalked about God’s calling on his life. While in fifth grade-he decided he wanted to be aphysician- but while in confirmation- his pastor suggested he consider becoming a pastor. Hesaid no- he was going to be a doctor. Later during college- his pastor suggested he be a pastor-again he said no. In 1982 he was ordained. In 1996 he got a call from someone from Lutheransfor Life- asking him if he would consider being a candidate for the position of director. He saidno. In April of 1996 he became the director. Can any of you relate? Maybe you don’t even realizeit- but may I suggest we all are in the middle of God’s never ending story- calling us in variousways for Him.When God calls us- what should our response be? Humble obedience- knowing that God canaccomplish his will without us- but chooses to use us. And why? Not to pump ourselves up inpride- not to impress others with our abilities-no- God has chosen the foolish things of the worldto shame the wise. I Corinthians 1:27 – so that others will know that it is the Lord’s doing-andnot ours.God has called us first of all to Himself in surrender. Repent. Jesus prayed in the garden ofGethsemane-“not my will- but yours be done.” If we want to follow Jesus- we too have to prayHis prayer. Many times it isn’t that we don’t know what God is calling us to as much as wealready know and don’t want to do it.Are you a John the Baptist? Or a Mary? That isn’t the question. The question is- are you beingfaithful and true to how and who God has created you? Only then can he fully use you. He hasgifted you- and you only with the right talents and gifts for just the right job. Bloom where youare planted. Be content with where you are-and do everything as serving God.God chose Mary- an unknown teenager. Her reaction? Scared- but excited- and most important-willing. What about you and I? Are you excited about what God might have planned for you life-no matter what age- young or old? Or are you scared that God might ask you to do somethingthat is out of your comfort zone at the same time? That is human nature. What God wants isobedience- a willing spirit.Will God choose you? He already has since before the beginning of time- but with the call- hepromises to never leave us alone- that He will be our strength. It all starts here with a small baby
lying in a manger- who is Christ the Lord- the savior of the world. Oh come let us adore him-may we bow down in worship and surrender- and may our lives bring glory to God in all we dofor His glory. In Jesus name- Amen.