We live in a world full of stars:
- sports stars
- entertainment stars
- political stars
- glitzy stars of sparkle season
No wonder people want to portray the star of Bethlehem like a search light from above lighting a straw filled manger from which the arms of a baby reach. We want to give God dazzle greater than we might give our cultural heroes: Top billing on a dazzling marquee, fireworks lighting up the sky, a star embedded on the walk of fame, social media buzzing about the latest word, and more.
The writer of the book of Hebrews had a similar agenda, except the heroes of his age were prophets and angels and he lifted the Son up in ways that his culture could only imagine. Not merely as the best of all of the prophets nor even the most holy of all the angels but to a whole new and complete revelation of the God.
For to which of the angels did God ever say:
“You are my Son; today I have begotten you”?
The challenge for us in this sparkle season is to not be dazzled by the spectacular lights, but to be totally and thoroughly lit up from within by the “reflection of God’s glory,” the Son! So that the Word of God might shine from within us not merely in this season but every day of our lives.
This worship service will include the lighting of the fourth Advent candle and a beautiful duet by Olivia Shaw and Cameron Troyer.
I will have more to say about Hebrews 1:1-12 at 10 a.m. on the fourth Sunday in Advent, December 24th, 2017, at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church. Christmas will still be thirteen hours away when this worship service ends.
Our message for young disciples on this fourth Sunday in Advent will focus on God telling Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus as told in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel in verses 26-33. Recently a child of this congregation was astounded that we would expect a baby to be our savior. Parents might help their child have this amazement of God’s power by pointing out the kind of support that babies need.
Later on this Christmas Eve we will offer two additional services:
5:30 p.m. No Rehearsal Christmas Pageant.
8:00 p.m. Lessons and Carols with Communion and candle lighting.