January 5 2020

Your Gates Shall Always Be Open


Listen to the sermon Joel Russell-MacLean

Worship Service: 11:00 am

Learning for Life will resume January 12

Bulletin: January 5th – Epiphany

Newsletter: January 2020

Scriptures: Isaiah 60.1-22; Matthew 2.1-23


Joel Russell-MacLean

“Adoration of the Magi” Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Like all good origin stories, Matthew used the story of Jesus’ birth to tell us who Jesus is and hinted at the conflict he would face:

  • Jesus had royal blood: he was part of the royal line of King David, born in Bethlehem as prophesied by Micah, honoured by foreign dignitaries.
  • Jesus is divine. He is called Immanuel: “God is with us”.
  • Jesus’ identity is at once hidden and in plain sight. 
  • The entire history of Israel led to the moment of his birth. Jesus’ calling was to be the Messiah and to redeem Israel from its sin. His calling was emphasized by a miraculous birth. 
  • All people and all creation were to be included when Israel was saved through Jesus

All of this is established before John the Baptist or Jesus even begin their ministry.

And right from his birth there is opposition to Jesus – fierce, ruthless, bloody opposition. We see evil exposed for what it truly is.

Jesus is born as the human: the fulfillment and the completion of what it means to be truly human. 

But evil is exposed as inhuman: the callous murder of infants and toddlers, a young family forced to flee as refugees.

Our example of faith is the story of the Magi – the “three wise men”. Although they had little to go on, and had to go to great lengths to find him, they chose to seek, to worship, and to honour Jesus.

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