Waynedale United Methodist Church
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Dec 4, 2016 Sermon

“Life”
John 1:1 – 14
Ted Jansen  December 4, 2016  Waynedale UMC
 
1.)        We continue “Songs of the Season” that looks at some popular Christmas songs.  Let’s sing the first verse of “Frosty the Snowman.”
(Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul, with a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal.  Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say, he was made of snow but the children know how he came to life one day. There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found.  For when they placed it on his head he began to dance around. O, Frosty the snowman was alive as he could be, and the children say he could laugh and play just the same as you and me. Thumpetty thump thump, thumpety thump thump, look at Frosty go.  Thumpetty thump thump, thumpety thump thump, over the hills of snow.)
 
2.)        “Frosty the Snowman” was written in 1950 as a response to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, a very popular song at the time.  Frosty the Snowman does not mention Christmas at all but became popular because of its winter theme that describes a snowman that came to life.  Have you ever created a snowman?  It captures our imagination and perhaps still does. 
            What brought Frosty to life?  Do you remember?  It was the magical hat.  This lifeless object came to life because of the hat. 
As we think about a magical hat I invite you to consider what pursuits we attempt in our living that can be an attempt to put on the magic hat.  We think, “If I put on the hat I will have “Life!”  I will find something new and alive if I pursue or do “this.” 
 
3.)        Some people might wonder if the magical hat is the Christmas spirit.  This attitude we attempt to gain in the season of Christmas.  Will this spirit give life?  People might wonder if the magical hat of trying to be more loving and a giving will give new life.  People wonder if the magical hat is finding the perfect gifts for those on my list.  People might wonder if the magical hat is when we decorate the house, sing Christmas carols, or attending parties. 
             
4.)        What do we need to do to have life?  Is there a need for new life?  Are there things inside of that have died inside us that we want brought back to life?  Do you wish things were different?  Maybe one way to describe what you experience is that you are not 100% sure you are emotionally or spiritually alive. 
You might feel like a lifeless Frosty waiting to be brought to life.  You feel like a musician who has not yet discovered the song that will awaken the music within them. 
            You desire new life but as you reach for the magical hat it is always out of reach.      
Maybe today you are hurt, unable to forgive, exhausted, grieving a loss, your joy disappeared?  Are you passionate about life?  Did you have a dream that has faded? 
            We desire to be alive.  We want those things that have died in us to come alive again.  We want Life and joy.  This time of year our songs invite us to new life.  
            Let us look not for the Magical Hat but for the Master’s Hand. 
 
5.)        Listen to these words from the Gospel of John.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.
            Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life…”  (John 1:1 – 4) 
            In Him was life.   Life is in the one called the Word.  This Word, where life is found, became flesh.   When we believe in His name we will be born of God and have Life.  (John 1:12)   
            We affirm and believe that the Word became flesh.  The baby grew into a child and into an adult so that Life could be offered to all.   
            We find life in the hand of the one who died on the cross, in the hand of the one who made the blind to see, in the hand of the one who took the bread and fed the crowd, in the hand of the one who blessed the children, in the hand of the one who prays to the Father for us today. 
            We find the Master’s Hand when we surrender our life.  When we yield, kneel, confess, surrender, give our lives away to the Word made flesh Life comes to us.  The Hand of God lifts us from our old life to the new life the Lord has for us.         
            The Hand of God gives us joy, peace and grace amidst our journey.  Have you held the hand of the Master this past week?  How did life come to you?  
 
6.)        I invite us to see the Master’s Hand, the one who gives life, breaking the bread and pouring the wine for His disciples.  We know that Christ in Communion brings life!
We are thankful that the Lord came close when the Word became flesh.  A baby, Jesus, was born in our world as a gift of love.  See the hand of the baby reaching out.        
See the hand of Jesus as he played with children, as he healed the blind, as he fed the thousands, as He thanks and invited His disciples to eat the bread and drink the wine.    
            See His Hands when the put the nails in them to keep Him on the cross.  See His hands when He rose from the Dead and His scars were still there. 
See how the Lord brings transformation.  Out of death comes life.  Resurrection.      
           
7.)        I invite you to surrender your life to Him.  If what I have shared has made sense to you and you desire new life, today can be the day that you are brought back to life.   
            All you need to do is turn from your self and turn towards the love of God.  As you take Communion, surrender, give your life to Him and receive Christ’s life. 
            When Frosty came to life it caused him to dance.   New life in Christ, life that is forgiven of all our sins, a life that restores us back to God, a life that brings healing, a life that gives us a new direction, a life that is based on the wonderful gift of God’s love, this might cause us to dance as well.
 
8.)        Let’s sing the last two verses of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  
            “How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift if given; so God imparts to human hearts the blessing of his heaven.  No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in. 
            O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in and be born in us today.  We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.”