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December 2, 2018

Sermon: “Hidden Figures”: Respond to God

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Scripture Lesson

Genesis 21:1-7; Luke 1:57-66

The Birth of Isaac
The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Now Sarah said, ‘God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.’ And she said, ‘Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.’

The Birth of John the Baptist
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, ‘No; he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘None of your relatives has this name.’ Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, ‘What then will this child become?’ For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
“Hidden Figures”: Respond to God
Genesis 21:1-7; Luke 1:57-66

I. Introduction: Garfield
II. Advent series: “Hidden Figures”
III. The birth of Isaac (Gen. 21:1-7)
     A. God’s work
         1. Keeps promises (21:1, double refrain)
         2. Performs miracles (21:2, 5, double refrain)
     B. Responses
         1. Obedience
             a. Names (21:3)
             b. Circumcises (21:4)
         2. Joy (21:6)
         3. Praise (21:6)
IV. The birth of John, an echo (Lk. 1:13-25, 57-66)
     A. God’s work
         1. Keeps promises (1:13, 57)
         2. Performs miracles (1:18, 24)
     B. Responses
         1. Obedience
             a. Names (1:60, 63)
             b. Circumcises (1:59)
         2. Joy (1:58)
         3. Praise (1:64)
V. Jesus’ birth in us
     A. God’s work
         1. Keeps promises
         2. Performs miracles
     B. Responses
         1. Obedience
         2. Joy
         3. Praise
VI. Conclusion: “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” (Traditional, 18th century)


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