Sermon by Rev Sydney Maitland for the evening of Sunday 17 December 2017.
At one time our banknotes could be exchanged for gold and they carried a promise to pay the bearer of the note the amount it specified – in gold.
But that promise no longer applies and our money is now secured by no more and no less than our faith in the bank, especially our central bank. And in a real crisis, who can say whether even this implied promise would be fulfilled?
This is not like God’s promise to Abraham who had shown his total confidence in God as he prepared to sacrifice his only son. It was the practice in those lands and times for rulers to sacrifice their children at critical points in their lives or careers.
And yet having led Abraham to this point, God did not just let him off this heart-wrenching sacrifice: rather He made a promise of His own.
Not only would be Abraham be honoured down the ages, but the promise was as wide as the universe itself. If Abraham thought that it would be limited by what his eye could see, we now find that the universe is far greater and more glorious than anything Abraham could even have imagined.
When Paul wrote to the church in Colossae, he also measured life and truth in terms of the universe.
Jesus was pre-eminent in all things and in all of creation. He stands before the whole created order, of which He is the author. He stands above and before all the heavenly bodies, forces and speculations. This is what being Alpha and Omega means – the beginning and the end. And that includes His authority over death.
So with all this glory about Him, we still find that the miracles of God’s humility are greater than those of His power. God has committed Himself to the limits of a human life, and to the weakness and frailty of a human baby, with a human mother a foster father and in due course brothers and sisters.
It was part of a plan and a process in which Jesus would grow up to show in personal form the character of God, in a way that people could see and receive.
This was the wonder that split the heavens and in which the whole of heaven broke loose in praise and worship. Heaven itself could not contain the wonder of what had happened and erupted in joy.
That is why we also are invited to the party: ‘O come, let us adore Him!’