This is the audio (42:20, 30.5 MB) of a sermon preached at our Lithuania home church, Klaipėda Free Christian Church, on January 2, 2022. It was the Second Sunday in Christmas, but since I was not scheduled to preach the next couple of weeks, I took the opportunity to preach a (pre-)Epiphany sermon! The main text is Isaiah 60:1-14, but I also make reference to Matthew 2:1-12.
Throughout the Old Testament, there is an important theme: people from outside Israel, God’s people, recognizing the greatness of Israel’s God—often seeing it even more clearly than Israel does! For example, Jethro, Moses’s father-in-law, gives glory to YHWH after he saves Israel from slavery in Egypt. Rahab, the Canaanite prostitute, throws all of her trust on YHWH God when the Israelites come to attack her city, Jericho. Ruth has more faith than her mother-in-law, Naomi, in the faithfulness of YHWH God to his people. This was YHWH God’s purpose all along in calling Israel to be his people: that his glory would be shown in their midst, and the nations would see and be attracted to it. Very often, Israel failed to live up to God’s glory—as we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. None of us is worthy to carry forth God’s glory into the world. In Isaiah 60, despite all that Israel, Judah and Jerusalem had done to bring shame on God’s name: God still displayed his glory through them. In Matthew 2: despite all that the Jews, and all that humanity, had done to dishonor God: God still chose to be born a Jewish baby, a human baby, and to show his glory in the world through Jesus Christ.
Enjoy hearing the sermon in both English and Lithuanian (back-and-forth)! You can also watch the service on Facebook.
Audio and text: ©2022 by Benjamin D. Giffone. Reproduction and distribution are permitted, providing that the author is properly credited and that no fee is charged.