Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Greatest Gift

The BYM (short for Baptist Youth Mission) has its church service on Tuesdays in a Baptist church in the downtown of Budapest. It usually starts with greetings, prayer, a longer period of worship songs (those are really great songs by the way. I'm always learning new ones there!). Then an invited guest pastor is preaching on a given topic, we pray, collect offerings and sing. There's also a little coffee shop in the church building so if you need a place to stay to chat with friends after the service that's the best!
Yesterday's pastor was my Judges teacher from Bible school - very appreciated by young people. I love his preachings; they're so memorable. His preaching was on The greatest gift.
The passages he read are Romans 8:32, 2 Corinthians 9:15 and John 1:41-42.
Then he told us about the five holidays of Christianity which all tell about how much God loves us! Just think about the meanings of these holidays.
- At Christmas God gave us His only begotten Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- Good Friday is the miracle of redemption. "God who was in Christ reconciled the world to himself" (2 Cor 5:19 Greek translation)
- At Easter God conquered the death and frees us from its fear. Jesus left to prepare a place for us.
- At Pentecost He sent us the Comforter.
- Advent: He will come back for us!
All these holidays are for us and about us. That's how much GOD loves US!

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). (John 1:41) 

Andrew said We have found the Messiah. He didn't say this because Jesus was lost. No but Andrew found him and recognized the Messiah in Him! Andrew recognized the greatest gift.
Mary accepted the gift, Joseph almost dropped it (the angel had to warn him in a dream!), Simeon and Anna recognized it, the magi (remember they were worldly astrologers) recognized the gift in the newborn. The visit of the magi also means judgement. They went first to Herod the Great, they read the Scriptures, Herod knew about God's gift and he (as so many today) came by it. Herod gave way to despair and the gift got crowded out in the lives of the people of Bethlehem. Those people weren't bad but busy with their lives and Jesus simply didn't fit into their hearts. 
Have you ever thought of who the sheperds were? Forgotten people, forsaken by the world who were living behind the beyond. But they got the "big show"! -  If you should ever feel forgotten and unloved (great message for me after the past weekend!) just think of the sheperds! God loves the forgotten!

The Messiah must be found and recognized. People from the 21st century are afraid of the Messiah. There's a humanist saying: Self help and God will help you too (meaning self do self help). But the gospel is: God helps and you can do something too: bracket yourself!
The world recognizes the need of the Messiah. In times of crisis and hopelessness the false Messiah come - like politicians (Hitler, Mao Zedong etc.) who leave millions of deads behind.
What is a crisis? It's like the first pains before the labor. They just point forward (to more pain - the final economical crisis in Revelation). Crisis means we're doing something wrong. And crisis means we need the Messiah.
The gift define us. With Jesus all things are given to us. Jesus is the greatest gift. He is the deliverer - the Messiah.

Oh, I almost forgot: after the preaching there was a little concert. Five songs of the preacher had been revised and orchestrated (flute + clarinette + cellos + violins + drums + piano + guitars and vocalists = 25 people beside the solists) by one guy (the dirigent) from my youth group. There were three solists (one of them this preacher) singing 2-1-1 songs and the last one was the "star-song". You can watch the video of this one (there will be better and more videos later!) Notice: The preacher is singing the second verse and they didn't practice before this at all by the way (right before starting the song he was showed the lyrics and told who would sing this part and that)! "Plow a new ground in me"

No comments:

Post a Comment