“Coming Close” 

Pastor David Moore

Old Testament reading: Isaiah 6:1-8 (NIV)

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:  

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.”  

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook, and the temple was filled with smoke.  

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined!  For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”  

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”  

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”  And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”  

New Testament reading: Luke 2:8-14

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign for you; You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”  

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  

Theme: There is an amazing, unique event that has taken place that will shape the earth. An amazing thing, a wondrous thing happens when Jesus comes close. It wasn’t easy or comfortable coming close to God, it never is.  But we found it good.  

The angels came to the shepherds, and they were afraid, terrified.  In the Greek it says phobe phobos  which literally means “they feared a greater fear.” ~D. Moore  

Those who live in darkness fear the light, the glorious light from the angels seems wonderful, but I bet it wasn’t. To be a broken human, a sinful human and to be suddenly in the midst of glorious peace, holy light, that is a safe place to be. ~D. Moore  

The glorious light of Christmas is not comforting, in some things, it is terrifying. The shepherds were terrified. The angel says fear not. Why shouldn’t they fear? Because the angel is bringing great tidings of great joy. ~D. Moore

Humans live in fear. We live in fear of the future, and the past and the present. We can cover it up and play it off, most of the time. But when God comes close, we are exposed. But if we hear what the angel is saying, we can be done with the fear. ~D. Moore  

Fear is intrinsic to who we are, and it started early on with Adam and Eve. ~D. Moore  

We want control over major health issues. We can’t control our investments. We can’t control the lives of people around us; this leads to anxiety and fear. ~D. Moore  

The root of fear is the fear of God. ~D. Moore  

Getting close to God is traumatizing. We are afraid of death. We are afraid of the Judge. ~D. Moore  

God is light and He is truth and that is an issue. Because we have all built up an image of ourselves as good, competent, unique people.  But when God comes close and we start to see His truth working in our lives, it is uncomfortable. God shatters our self-image. ~D. Moore  

People in the Bible see God’s glory (coming close):  

-Isaiah got near to God: “Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips and I live among people with unclean lips.”  

-Job, when God comes close: “I despise myself, I see myself, and I repent in dust and ashes. 
-Peter figured out who Jesus was and said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.   ~D. Moore  

When people come close to God, they get a glimpse of their real selves. We are uncomfortable, offended, and traumatized to hear we need to repent. ~D. Moore  

Fear not, the message brings good news of great joy for all people. The good news is a baby (Jesus) is born to save us from our sins. To understand Christmas is to worship Jesus as Lord. ~D. Moore  

Glory is recognizing God is beyond us. Glory flows over our boundaries of capacity and comprehension.  If you want peace on earth, you must give God the glory. ~D. Moore  

An amazing thing, a wonderous thing happened when Jesus came (come close). It wasn’t easy or comfortable coming close to God. But we find it good, we also will become uncomfortable and the better it gets because we feel a deeper understanding of how much we are loved and the sacrifice that God gave to each one of us. This is the gift of Christmas for all who want it.

God bless; dwell on “coming close to God.”