Sermon for 1st Advent Midweek – December 2, 2020

+ Advent Midweek 1 – December 2, 2020 +

Genesis 3:8-15; Romans 5:12-21

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA

 

“Jesus, the Seed of Jesse’s Tree”

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Think for a moment…what is your favorite Bible story? I’m sure we all have one or two or ten favorites. I think some of my favorites are Jesus’ parables, which always point to His gracious rule and reign.

 

Throughout Holy Scripture God tells us many stories. And yet all of them – every book, chapter, and verse –  in one way or another point to the one great story of God’s salvation in Jesus. God’s rescue, redemption, and relentless love is the story, the history of our salvation. And to best understand the story we must go back. Way back. To the beginning.

 

The story of salvation does not begin with Jesus’ birth —though everything before leads to His incarnation and everything afterward flows from that central point in history. This Advent we will hear and see that story as told by the Jesse Tree.

 

Here in the Northwest, we see plenty of growing trees —the mighty oaks and maples, towering pines, old growth cedars and Douglas firs. Yet even the mightiest tree began as a small seed, so small that the world hardly notices.

 

Our story begins the same way. Back in the beginning. Back when the story of our salvation began. Back when God promised to send Jesus, the promised Seed of Jesse’s tree.

 

It all began with those famous words, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Six days later, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). Creation, including the human race, was no accident or chance but by the handiwork of the eternal, gracious God. And it was good. So much in fact, that God saw what He had made, and again and again, He called it “good.”

 

Adam and Eve lived in this goodness, in the garden God planted. In Eden they lived in peace with creation, with each other, and with God. Sin and its ugly consequences were completely unknown in this world.

 

Eden was beautiful. A paradise! Yet it did not last. We see its loss just by looking around us or by looking into a mirror. We see brokenness and sin. We see hate and war. We see despair and hopelessness. We see what’s become of the Garden of Eden.

 

You know the story. The serpent tempted the woman. Her husband stood by and watched and then with her ate of the fruit of the one tree that was forbidden to them. They chose to listen to the serpent and instead of the Creator’s loving Word. A seed of doubt caused an act that would close the gates of Eden to all humanity.

 

If we were writing this story, I think I know what we’d do next. At least I know what I’d do. If Adam and Eve had rejected me, I’d reject them too. Condemn them. And never talk to them again.

 

Thankfully, we don’t write the story of salvation. God does. God is love itself, and in His love He reached out to Adam, to Eve, and to all their descendants. So great is His love that He could not destroy His creation or leave it to itself. In love, He created the man and the woman, and in love, He would provide a way of redemption that He had known from eternity. It was a price only He could pay, a price paid by the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8 KJV).

 

It’s true, sin brings death. And yet, in God’s story, death springs forth from life. Though Adam and Eve and all the subsequent generations have borne the curse our sin has earned, our loving Creator has not deserted us. Quite the opposite, He embraces us and He joined Himself to us. As Paul declares, For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Immediately after that first sin and the darkness that it brought God made a promise. The Lord God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).

 

The word for “offspring” is the word for “seed.” There would be one Seed that would defeat the serpent. And yet that Seed would not be the seed of the man and the woman, as every other subsequent human birth would be. No, this Seed is the Seed of the woman—a miraculous and divine conception.

 

The tree of Jesse begins with a Seed—a Seed present but dormant in Eve. In love, God remembered His promise through every generation of fallen humanity. Through those generations, that Seed that was promised as Eden closed would remain present though hidden to human eyes. In the fullness of time, in the womb of a daughter of Eve, the Virgin Mary, God’s promised Seed would spring forth and grow. This was the Seed of the woman promised at the fall. From her womb would come forth the Creator Himself joined to His creation in the God-Man, Jesus Christ. Here is the Redeemer. Here is the Seed. Here is Jesus.

 

All that we lost in Adam is restored in the Seed of the woman. Here is the Christ, the Messiah. Here is the Lamb of God, the one and perfect sacrifice whose blood reverses the curse of the fall and brings grace and forgiveness to the whole human race.

 

This is Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man. This is the new Adam, who bears the sin of the old Adam and every human being and carries it all to a cross. From the tree of Eden came death to all humanity, but from the tree of Calvary comes life to all humanity. This is the Christ of Easter whose resurrection rescues the world; who rescues you. This is the Lamb into whom we are baptized to share in His death and resurrection. This is the Lamb whose body and blood sustains us here.

 

This is your story too. The story of God’s great rescue in Jesus, the Seed of the woman. Jesus, the Seed of Jesse’s tree. Through Him, the Eden that was lost is restored for you. Forever.

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

Contact

Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977
E-mail
staff@mybslc.com