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January 8, 2017

Sermon: Reality Check

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Scripture Lesson

Exodus 1:22; Jeremiah 31:15-16; Matthew 2:13-18

Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, ‘Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.’

Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more. Thus says the Lord: Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for there is a reward for your work, says the Lord: they shall come back from the land of the enemy;

The Escape to Egypt
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’

The Massacre of the Infants
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
Reality Check
Exodus 1:22; Jeremiah 31:15-16; Matthew 2:13-18

I. Introduction—Peanuts
II. After peak moments (Matt. 2:13-18)
     A. A shift of focus
     B. The reality is threats
         1. Herod (2:13)
         2. Flight to Egypt (2:14)
         3. Massacre (2:16)
III. Why put this in the story?
     A. In 6 verses Jesus is grounded in
         1. Important historical figures
             a. Abraham (Gen. 12:10-20)
             b. Joseph (Gen. 37:25-28)
             c. Moses (Ex. 1:22)
             d. Rachel (Jer. 31:15)
         2. Important places
             a. Bethlehem
             b. Egypt
             c. Ramah
         3. The Hebrew scriptures and story
     B. God is present in all the details of life
IV. What does this mean for us?
     A. It’s OK to not be at the peak
     B. God is with you, no matter what
V. Conclusion: Dark Night of the Soul (Jer. 31:15-16)


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