The history of the church is replete with theologians debating who Christ really is.  Is he man? Is he god? If he is both, is he more of one than the other? A brief survey of early church history would turn up numerous councils which took on these questions in what seems to our minds to be excruciating detail.  But, those debates are just the provenance of bearded men with far too much time on their hands, right? What do the councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon have to do with my life? What effect does the theological hair-splitting of the early church have on my life in the 21st century?

This Sunday, we continue our series in the Gospel of Luke and are confronted with a deep mystery: the infinite God came as a finite man. In an attempt to understand this, we often run to one of two extremes.  One is to think of Christ as wholly alien and otherworldly, as if he hovered two feet off the ground while on earth and only spoke in mystic riddles/mantras.  This maintains his divinity but cuts short his humanity.  A second extreme is to think of Christ only in familiar terms, as if he is a loving grandfather that gives abundantly and requires little.  These examples are hyperbolic, but if we press deep into the ways we daily consider Christ, we are likely to see these extremes played out. 

Rather than offering some form of a middle ground (half man/half divine), scripture presents Christ as fully God and fully man. It is impossible to fully understand this, but we can draw deeply from this truth. We can rest in Christ’s divine transcendence, knowing that he is sovereign over all of our life and holds all things together according to his perfect will and plan. Similarly, we can take comfort in knowing that the divine Christ made himself eminent through his incarnation. And just as he drew near then, he is drawing near now to His people. And just as he came to earth once, he will come again. 

Let us never neglect the mystery of the nature of Christ.  As we are confronted with Christ’s transcendence and immanence, let us not be overwhelmed, but instead respond in praise to God!


Scripture: Luke 2:1-2:52
Sermon: The Young King’s Commencement


Here I Am to Worship (arr. Matt Redman)
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Raise Up the Crown  (arr. Chris Tomlin)
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Poor Sinner Dejected With Fear (arr. Indelible  Grace)
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In Christ Alone (arr. Keith and Kristin Getty)
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Song of Preparation: Glory Be to God on High  (arr. Bruce Benedict)
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Song of Response: Hail To the Lord’s Anointed (arr. Sandra McCracken)
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Confession of Sin: Light of the World

Confession of Faith: Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 21-22

Written by : uptownworship


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