Advent 2016 - The Presentation of the King

Advent 2016: The Presentation of the King

Written by a tax collector turned follower of Jesus, the Gospel of Matthew stands as one of the earliest accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus. Those seeking to more fully understand Jesus and His ways throughout the centuries have found in Matthew a faithful guide. 

Over the course of the next twelve months, we have committed to exploring the depth of Jesus and His Kingdom Come by spending “A Year with Jesus” in the following five episodes of Matthew’s Gospel: (1) The Presentation of the King, (2) The Preaching of the King – Sermon on the Mount, (3) The People of the King, (4) The Parables of the King, and (5) The Power of the King. Not only does this journey lie at the core of our church’s vision, but it provides a chance for both seekers and saints to reevaluate their assumptions of faith and encounter Christ firsthand. Join us as we walk with Jesus, listen to His teaching, and discover what it looks like for Jesus to rule over our lives and this world. 

This Advent, we begin with the birth of the King. 

Long before Jesus arrives on the scene with a message or in ministry, a baby is born. Swirling around this most miraculous birth are all sorts of questions that ring from Bethlehem and beyond. Who is this Child? Why is He here? Where does He come from? What story does He fulfill? In the first two chapters of this Gospel account, Matthew answers all these questions and more as he introduces us to Jesus and frames His birth as a continuation of Israel’s story. Come behold the birth of the King!

"Immanuel: Glory in the Lowest" Matthew 1:20-23 (Advent 2016: The Presentation of the King)

When the angels appeared to the shepherds in the fields, they came proclaiming a message of urgent celebration - "Glory to God in the highest!" That message of God's glory being recognized in the highest places is the one many are familiar with. Throughout repeated scenes in the Old and New Testaments, we see God's glory in the highest - love, joy, power, beauty, and holiness surrounded by angelic company around His throne. However, the unique message of Christmas is contained in the second half of the angelic message - "Peace on earth." Or, stating it another way, "Glory to God in the lowest place." In our celebration of the Christ child, we marvel and respond to the truth of Immanuel: God with us.

"The Gospel of Egypt, Exile, and Nazareth" Matthew 2:13-28 (Advent 2016: The Presentation of the King)

This week we tackle the often forgotten part of the Christmas story. After the beauty and wonder of the manger, the angels and the magi, the darkness of human sin and evil invades Bethlehem. As the threatened king, Herod orders the murder of all male children two years old and under which leads to bloodshed and tears. His murderous plot forces Mary and Joseph to take baby Jesus to the land of Egypt for a season before returning home to Israel. As Matthew describes this scene, he distinctly points to Egypt, Rachel's weeping, and Nazareth as fulfillment of the prophets' words. And in explicitly pointing to these three themes, Matthew highlights the particularly good news of Jesus' birth. The gospel of Exodus, Exile, and Nazareth is a message our weary souls still need some 2,00 years later.

"A King, a Fool, and Wise Men" Matthew 2:1-12 (Advent 2016: The Presentation of the King)

As we enjoy our 3rd Sunday of Advent this year, we will take a look at the gathering of "kings" immediately after Jesus' birth. King Herod is visited by the "kings" from the east who come bearing news about the birth of the "King of the Jews." As Matthew unfolds this section of the Christmas story, we discover that this group of 3 kings is actually a story about a king, a fool and wise men. The fool and wise men teach us so much about responding to God's Royal Son in wisdom and worship.

"What is Love?" Matthew 1:18-25 (Advent 2016: The Presentation of the King)

“What’s love got to do with it?” Well, if it’s the second week in Advent, the answer is “everything." This week, we focus on the theme of "Love" as viewed through the lens of Joseph’s experience in Matthew chapter 1. In doing so, we hope to gain some insight into this pervasive, essential and often mysterious force called "Love" as illuminated in the Christmas Story.

"Family Tree" Matthew 1:1-17 (Advent 2016: The Presentation of the King)

This Sunday, we will kick off our time in Matthew’s Gospel account by taking a look at the hidden story found in Jesus’ genealogy. Rather than being a “throw away” passage to be skipped, this record of Jesus’ family tree reveals the heart of Jesus’ mission and the essence of our Christian faith. Come learn more about the real Jesus, the son of David,  Abraham, and much more.