Be Present (John 1:14)

July 24, 2022 | Tim Wendel


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Under cover boss, you know what, even if you haven’t seen the reality TV show, just the text, the title kind of gives you the idea of what this is about. So unsuspecting employees, right are working in a new employee joins, joins a team, that new employee is their boss. And so I don’t know how they do it. They have cameras, they follow people? How would they not know are they that dense not to know that something’s going on here. But through it, the boss has an opportunity to see how things function. And in that if you’ve seen it, there’s moments where he’s receiving abuse from actually his employees, but it’s actual, you know, for the TV show, it’s his colleague, as well as to see how the institution runs from below. I don’t know if it’s past if it’s possible to have undercover pastor, if that would work. But you get the idea at the very end at the reveal moment, you know, and you know, with these reality shows how much is really written and how much is really just Spontaneous, but it’s an opportunity for the owner to either fire someone, someone’s head is gonna roll or maybe his own or her own when he has to admit, or she has to admit that you know what, we could do a little better. This is just to make the bridge to introduce the topic of presence in a TV show, the presence of a boss at his company, makes a lot of sense.
And it’s very helpful. But what about presence here? The presence of the one we sync to that when we adore the one we serve, do you know that five months from today, five months they just kids, you know what this is? I thought the kids were gonna stay. You know, and I was I was looking at Phoebe Kim. Last time we spoke here. She came up and said, got a problem with you. I’m like, Oh, really? Okay. direct it to the pastor. He’s got Why do you speak more than Why did you speak more than your wife? Mike? Well, I don’t know. This is how I did let her speak. She did speak. So um, she’s not here, right? She left. So unless she watches the stream, she may have a few things. A few choice words for me. But kids in five months from today it is Christmas Eve. Wow. Can you believe it? So here we are Christmas in July. And you know what? That’s a time when we celebrate the incarnation of Jesus Christ. You know, him coming in flesh to the word. Now, in that a lot. There was a lot of drama. We know how King Herod was trying to kill, kill the children in Bethlehem horrible story, and also that some of the first church councils throughout the centuries after the church’s birth, we’re trying to figure out the incarnation of Christ. Even in the Cree, today, it’s explaining, trying to understand what does it mean for God, the Word to become flesh. It wasn’t just so that the Bible could become a best seller by having all this drama, but rather to show and express, the Creator of heavens and earth, his pursuit of his people to be present among us, as he also sends us. So today’s theme is Be present. And the text is going to be coming from the Gospel of John. And it might sound like a misplaced sermon in the liturgical calendar. Like I said, maybe it’s supposed to be later in December. True in December, we wait to open our presents. But we have to wait until one day of the year to talk about the president Emmanuel, God with us. That very fact that miracle affects every one of us, everywhere, and for all time, the incarnation of Christ. In fact, we mark our year by 2022, in the year of our Lord. Today, we’re going to see not just the how the Incarnation through his habitation with his humanity, the manifestation of His Majesty makes possible an invitation to his salvation for you and for me. So the Gospel of John might not depict a typical Christmas scene. There’s no manger, no Wiseman, no angels. But there is Christmas story. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace, and truth. Let’s pray. Father, we’re grateful for this morning. We’re grateful for Your word for your abiding presence of the Holy Spirit with us among us, and that you would illuminate your word. So as pastor Kyle even said that we would Lord, be changed, transformed. And the impact in our hearts here at Cityview and around where we live in serve. In Jesus name I pray, amen. You know, as John presents in the gospel, he talks about the word right, that are in Greek, it’s logos, and that was known logos, if you will, as the internal, eternal, divine, impersonal principle. It was like, behind everything was this eternal, divine, impersonal principle. But John, is connecting say, Yes, eternal, divine. But it’s personable. It’s a person, and not just something that is holding up the whole universe. But the question is, when we look at the incarnation of Christ, the big question is, so what? What does that have anything to do with our life today? The Incarnation of Christ, logos, the word becoming flesh. is the miracle that saves us. And it’s also the model of our service, a miracle and a model.
And as such, we are asked and called by God. Christ is asking us to be His very presence, as as he was Grace and Truth in sandals. He’s asking us, I’m wearing Clark’s, you might be wearing tennis shoes or Nikes, that we could be his grace and truth. To those among us who lack gospel access, and who do not know, Jesus, you know, being near and being present are two different things. You can be near someone physically but present very far away. It’s great to have both No. So in 2001, when we were sent as missionaries to Spain, it’d be a little hard to plant a church from Elmhurst, Illinois in Madrid, you know, we had to get on a plane we had to be near, physically, but we could have been physically near but like, held up in a in our, in our hotel room, or where we lived, we had to identify with a learn language, we had to eat the food, we sent the kids to school, we fully identified and praise the Lord, we’re able to see a church plant and expression of the Body of Christ. 10 years past, we were asked to become regional leaders of Latin America, everything from Mexico down to Chile, once again, we had to identify we had to leave Spain, go to Uruguay. Now you might say, well, this, we shouldn’t have to relearn Spanish. Well, actually kind of did because the way they speak down there is a lot different than in Mexico than in Spain. So when we would say I’m going to the playa, you know, pliers, the beach, right? But when we’re down there, I’m going to the pleasure. It’s like, play your pleasure. Sounds a little different, right? But even there, we had to accustom we had to become and be present with the people up there. But the difference was this. Being church planters in Madrid was one thing, but now being the leaders being the bosses. Do our international workers really want their boss in their backyard? Let me ask you a question here. How many of you would love to have pastor, Pastor Kyle? Pastor Brandon as neighbors? Sorry. Let me just take a drink of water. Could be a little awkward, but I’m looking at pastor Kyle. And I want to I wonder if he’s the kind of guy that the first snowfall I mentioned. We’re actually thinking about snow talking about snow right now. I’m wondering if anyone is anyone a neighbor? Maybe? Okay, are you the kind of guy that might actually shovel the whole walk of the whole neighborhood? If that was the case, then I would say this is a good thing to be your neighbor. Well, I’m not trying to put you on the spot or make you do it. But I guess I just did both. Okay, yeah, somebody else? Who’s that, right. But when we talk about being present, being present in Spain being present in Uruguay being present, here, where you guys live in DuPage County, the presence of God was long before the incarnation that we celebrate a Christmas, there are times throughout from creation to the manger, there are times where right there in the Garden of Eden, God was present walk with Adam and Eve, spoke with Moses in the burning bush, the pillar of fire that was guiding the Israelites in the still small voice with Elijah, God was present. But there was something special that we read about very special, I should say, in the book of John, with the glory of the word, who spoke on the creation onto existence, when we’re reading that creed today. That’s this text. That’s the reality of the Incarnation. That’s the answer to the so what? Why is it so important? Why would we get up on a Sunday, don’t even listen to this, while we get up on a Monday, and he actually engage in life if this wasn’t true. If the mere if, if the incarnation is the miracle that saves us. It must make an impact in the way we live, and the way we are. We saw his glory, we behold the glory, the text says, sometimes he transfigured himself. Other times the glory was less evident, but very much true. Jesus didn’t come as some undercover creator, but rather as a loving, close, identifying and present savior, full of grace, and full of truth. And so even when we open up the book of John, and start all the way at the beginning, and John, sounds like Genesis, right in Genesis In the beginning, God, John, In the beginning, was the word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him, not anything. made that was made in Him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
The Word became flesh. Christ’s undiminished divinity, in unprotected humanity. Make salvation possible for you and me. Think about that all of divinity in humanity, but making salvation possible through us. So here John is talking about the word eternal. Everything was made through me as the Creator, He gave life he is light. And he never ceased being God while being fully man, being present with us. AW Tozer put it this way, the awful the awful majesty of the Godhead. When we think of history, when we look at the Bible, there are moments where Moses would have a face to face with God and His face would be shining, the other moments we could not see and look and live at the glory of God. The incarnation the awful majesty of the Godhead, was mercifully sheath, in a soft envelope of human nature, to protect mankind. And I would dare say, to save mankind. He wasn’t some distant, impersonal force, but the Word became flesh. God Himself dwelling among us, who gave life to Adam, life to the animals, light to the world, let there be light and light to you and me, to mankind. He made his dwelling among us, the text says, Christ habitated with his humanity, for what purpose to be present with his creation. I have we have traveled I’m not sure where Melania is, I think she’s here. Maybe she’s not, she’s downstairs. She’ll catch us later. But we have we’ve we’ve we’ve taken up residence in different countries, I know what it means to take up residence in Spain, or in Uruguay. But God, sending His Son taking residence up with you and me is an amazing, amazing thing. How could finite man ever understand infinite God, unless he clothed himself in human flesh? As a dead How can my kids ever know me unless I am a self revealing father, a self disclosing, sharing about the history about the stories of my life of who I am. That’s Jesus sharing and revealing the Father to us. And in fact, the text talks about even sending other the prophets and guys like John the Baptist, who was not the light, but he gave testimony to the light bearing witness, so that sinful man could line up and understand and have salvation, and to know the word who became flesh, who dwelt among us. Who made his residency here. We have seen his glory, the text says, The glory of the One and Only Son who came from the Father, Christ, manifestation of His Majesty, is his self disclosure and confirmation of his deity, the evidence of who he is. In the book of John, there’s seven signs. The first sign is when Jesus turned water into the wine in wine. And the last is when he rose, Lazarus from the dead. These signs are manifestations of His glory, to help us understand who he is, to understand the identity of Jesus, and to point us and to make a path so we can have faith in Jesus Christ. It’s interesting when he rose Lazarus from the dead. Jesus said in John 11 form, this sickness was not meant for death. But it’s for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified in it. Now, you might say, if I was there, if I was present, if I was some undercover Christian from the 20th century, but in the first century, and I saw some of the signs I would clearly have lined up with with Jesus and I would have said, praise the Lord. Look what he’s done, look at all the signs. But the text says he came to his own, and his own people did not receive them. Even at the text when he when he rose Lazarus from the dead, those went Back, people went back they told talk to chi Ephesus, the high the high priest at that time, prophetically Caiaphas said, Hey,
isn’t in our best interest that one man dies. If all this if Jesus is going to raise up a lot of ruckus and the Romans are going to want to come down on us. Is it better that one man dies instead of the whole nation? Prophetic? Yes. But even as think it’s inconceivable for us to be back there and say, oh, what were they missing? What are they missing that we have? The Incarnation of Christ is the salvation that is so important that we need and it’s inconceivable to think that as he was here to pierce the darkness of man, that there was a purpose for showing his identity. So you might pull back and say, Okay, so the Word became flesh. So what the text says he was full of grace, and truth. And when we look at things, through the lens of today, we have to look at through the lens of the cross. It was a cross of Christ, where the fullness of God’s grace shown most brightly and invites us to salvation, the incarnation of Christ, the Word becoming flesh. Living among us, we’ve seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only Son who came from the Father, full of grace, and truth. John Piper is a well known Pastor, I believe he’s retired, now he’s up was up in the Twin Cities, he said that Jesus could have come, God could have come as judge and executioner. You know what we are dead in our trespasses, All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death.
But he didn’t. He came to be the Lamb of God. He came to be the answer, to pay the penalty of our sin, to make a way to the Lord.
So how was Jesus FULL of truth, he was true to himself because sin had to be punished. You couldn’t look the other way. Sin had to be punished, but he was gracious to us, because He took our place on the cross. full of grace and truth. Being our sacrificial lamb paying the penalty for us being true to himself. You know, this is a message that okay, well, I guess we’re five months ahead. You don’t have to preach this at Christmas time. Because you know, the incarnation of Jesus, we’re just missing some of the Christmas trees up here. Now. This is a message of presence that makes a difference right now, today. As sent once as he sends us, so that in John 2021, I think, just as a father sent him, so he sends us to be present, to be incarnational. It was actually Apostle Peter, when he was just after the first Easter when he was talking to the Sanhedrin. He said salvation. enact salvation is found in no one else. For there’s no one no other name under heaven, given to mankind by which man must be saved. That was a controversial thing to say, then it’s even a controversial thing to say now, because when you’re talking about salvation, you’re implying that, do I need to be saved? Do I have sin? That’s not a real talk about uncomfortable conversations. What I love about Jesus’s ministry, many things, all things is that it was to real people in real places. I’m thinking of the Samaritan woman at the well. He saw her, he engaged her. She may not not have seen the transformations, transfiguration. But she saw glory. She’d be held his glory, calm and listen to the man who knows everything about me. She gathered her town. His presence there at the well made a difference in her life and that of the community. Little further on post resurrection. Peter, right. Peter had this vision from Jesus about you know, don’t call unclean that which I call clean. And that day, he followed some servants that were sent from the north from Cornelius to go and share the Gospel. Talking about access talking about crossing over a huge barrier a Jew to go to a Gentile But that day he went, he was grace and truth to that Roman soldier, as well as to the whole family, the textiles tells us that the whole household believed. I doubt today for those of you are going to a baseball game, if you’re actually going to encounter in the concession line, a Samaritan woman. Or if you go to left field, because you want to look out there at the game, you’re going to encounter a Roman soldier. But we are called, we are invited to be the presence of Christ to those among us, wherever we are, and we can be most like Jesus, when we are on task on mission with him a set once. So there’s two important things about the incarnation. It’s a miracle that saves us substitutionary atonement, God’s justice was paid for. Hallelujah, he was most gracious to us. And the cross. Were the truth of we send me the pay for He took our place. But now how is this? How is the incarnation of Christ a model for our service? What does that look like? Are we willing to be present? Are we willing to respond and be sent once? From this church, from our families, to the places in which in where we live, and I think we are most in step with the Lord of the harvest. As we choose to go to the places where there’s not access, where there’s not presence, gospel presence, in the places where we work, live, and even overseas, and I think we are as a church. As Christians, we value incarnational ministry. Because we have the opportunity to offer an invite people to salvation,
to invite last man, to know, Father, Father, God. And as God is asking each of us to be present where we’re at, we also realize that there’s others who actually sustained those who are sent. Through faithful giving, and generous prayers. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the word, or the initials MIP, right? meaningful, impactful presence. Now, who doesn’t want their presence to be meaningful and impactful, right? I’m thinking of a woman like Maria, who left Haiti to go to the Dominican Republic for a better life. And you know what it’s like to be an immigrant crossing lines. vulnerability, being a woman being an immigrant, not knowing language, and the possibility for exploitation. And she crossed over into the Dominican Republic and eventually made her way, all the way to the east end of the island or Punta Cana, went to kind of might ring a bell like, oh, that’s where Yeah, that’s right. There’s more than 130 resorts that line that part of the Dominican Republic. But you just have to go one kilometer in from the ocean to a place called Monteverde, monta mountain bear today. Green, I should have done this in Spanish, like I told you, I should have done it. It’s there’s no mountain neither is a green, but it’s actually a community of Haitian immigrants living there. So how would you be meaningful, impactful presence as someone who doesn’t have clean water, no school, no hope doesn’t know the language. Their papers are not in order. There are some missionaries from America that was just by doesn’t have to be from America. But in this case, it is coming working with the church in Punta Cana called the second mile actually called Mud love, they have one of these, one of these bracelets is made of ceramic 30 of these Haitian women are working in mud love. They’re making and they’re earning a wage so that they don’t have to cover your ears, but you know it, they don’t have to prostitute themselves to feed their kids. But they can only employ 30 people. So if you ask the fact that these Christians, these present sent ones, were able to start a school, bring in water, have a church have up. If you were to ask the kids, is your presence meaningful and impactful? They will say absolutely, yes. That gives a platform an opportunity to be heard, because the foundational truth that they need to hear that Maria and her other 3029 Colleagues needs to hear is the love of Jesus Christ. But your MIP can actually make it possible so they can hear the Gospel, the incarnational truth of salvation. But what about the 31st person that can’t be employed because there’s no money. There’s still a need still a necessity. Or I’m thinking about the whole topic of bullying. I know that in the United States, we’re not the only ones who experienced bullying. If you’re personally in your past your kid your grandkid. It’s sad. It’s a real thing. In the middle of South America, in part of why in the capital of Ashland Fionn there’s a school of 2000 kids 1000 In the morning, 1000 in the afternoon. With a lot of bullying going on, you got the bully, you got the victim, you got to witness. You know that the school was desperate. When they actually go to a pastor for help. Right. But they came to one of our local pastors name was Angel, Pastor Angel. Got to help us out. We have this Boolean problem. Do you have anyone in your church? You have anyone?
Can you help us? There’s a couple of missionaries. And we could you know, how could this church have meaningful, impactful presence in this neighborhood?
The school was coming in asking. Little did they know that Pastor Angel was really a demon as a kid. By the age of 16, he was kicked out of school, he had punched out the front tooth of the principal, he broke the rib of his of the principal secretary,
he was a mess. He wanted violence. And now 2030 years later, they’re asking him to be the manifest the presence of God, are you kidding me? God does have a sense of humor. But more importantly, he can change lives.
You ask those kids now? Does it make a difference that Pastor angel in the church are actually present in that location, giving hope to the kids to the victims, he can identify with the bully because he was a he was a jerk. He was violent. But what a platform to be heard and listened to, by the and people from the church go to that school. And now some of the kids and parents are actually going to school so they can hear the gospel and be transformed. DuPage County I know there’s immigrants. I know there’s bullies. Not saying this is a play that God is asking you to run for your MIP one of the important things I know this church with MIP is safe in my sin, right? safe homes. Safe Families. Oh, for sure. For sure, that’s been an amazing, amazing opportunity. When I was on staff here, one of the MIP is we had instead of having the occasional Vacation Bible School, we did these backyard Bible clubs. So we go to the booths, house, daggers, Ronnie’s, and we let’s go to the neighborhood. Let’s go to the garage. You know, if Steve Jobs can start apple in a garage, why can’t we start a church in a garage and they’re right there in the neighborhoods? To be close to be present with the people? I don’t know what that’s gonna look like here at Cityview for this summer for your next step where you’re working, but I know someone who does. If we listen, and we say, Lord, what do you have for us? I know you’re doing stuff and it’s amazing. But to be present is costly. As Jesus, His very present here cost him his life that he gave up. There’s a financial reality as well. People aren’t just waiting to see Yeah, tell me about Jesus in many contexts around this world. Mellon and I want to say thank you, to you guys. Thank you for your support, so that we can be sent once we can be an extension of Cityview. In Latin America, we can be his presence because we’re sustained by you. Through your prayers, and through your giving. And we are grateful. We’re thankful. You know that there’s one church, one invisible church with many visible congregations. Cityview is a visible congregation right, but we’re part of the body of Christ, the invisible church. Some people say, Well, I think pastor Kyle said, yeah, they’re from the Christian and Missionary Alliance. That’s the visible reflection of the of the invisible church. And probably our most but who is that? It’s got a lot of names. It’s kind of hard to say CMA will probably our most famous No person of the movement would be AW Tozer. Right? So for 30 years he was on the south side of Chicago preaching, even though he died in 1963. He’s still a spiritual influencer today. The second president of the CMA was the guy named Paul Reiter that has some importance here in Chicago. Are there any moody students here? Oh, there are for some, of course. But he was the he was a pastor of Moody Church from 1915 to 1921. He was a second president of the US of the CMA. But this is just getting to the founder of the CMA who was a Canadian, from Prince Edward Island. So from Prince Edward Island to Toronto, to Hamilton to Louisville, to New York City, AB Simpson, Albert Benjamin Simpson. So he was there at a Presbyterian Church, preaching the gospel, and got to a point where he realized, you know what, it was Halloween, October 31 1881. He resigned, Trick or treat, right? He resigned from the from being pastor, they had nothing nowhere to go. But he realized that for him to be present in New York City to do what God asked him to do. He had to resign and especially to reach out to all the immigrants that were coming. It was an 1882. January 1, right, I think you’ve got in your bulletin, insert a quote that I want to read. It was that day a day normally January 1, what are we doing January 1, we’re sleeping in getting up late. And he is writing this A B Simpson is writing this. Because you have to understand the five years prior to the writing of this. He shares in another article, he says there’s been 165,000 People that have come to New York City in the five years prior to the writing of this. That’s like a city of Cleveland or a buffalo
arriving to the shores of New York City, and here’s what he says, Here’s what he investigated. There was not one new church that was planted or Christian movement. He’s like, sets this sounding alarm, New York, how could it be so many people come in and we’re not. We’re not even planting churches, the reach the ones that are coming to us?
And he said, we fallen asleep. We fallen asleep. He writes this and I love how he writes it.
We’ve been discussing nice theories and preaching beautiful sermons and letting the people perish. They have been doing far worse. They’ve been writing the church that is we’ve been writing in heaven and Palace sleeping cars. My grandpa used to work I can You can fact check this. I got some uncle’s back there. But at the Pullman, you know, down on the south side of Chicago used to clean the railroad. There are beautiful cars, right? There weren’t airplanes back on and 40 years ago. But in the church, we’re listening to sermon after sermon, just falling asleep, riding up to celestial heaven. While train load after train load of people are plunging into the abyss and saying, No one No man cared for my soul. That’s what’s being shouted. That’s what is getting the urge of A B Simpson. And so he writes, and this is what is in our, in your text. Christians we got to repent. Christians, we need to fill a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. And we need revival in the church. I wonder if it’s what he wrote 140 years ago is any different than what we need today? He says this lets Christians then await from the respectability let religion cease to be an amusement and let it become a holy trust. Let the churches open their doors freely to all classes, and let members go to their neighborhoods and invite them in. Let the public halls and theaters be open for evangelistic services. And that plain earnest men go wherever they can. Gather the masses together in little communities are great, and preach the gospel in the power of the Spirit and the simplicity of love. Let the interest of our church be forgotten in the honor of Christ and the peril of souls. Let us be sure that we are saved and let us be sure that men are lost. And then let us speak as men that believe. Let us give up our plans of pleasure and self selfishness and ease and prepare for winter of earnest work. Let’s put away our idols and turn from our abominations and above all, let us cry mightily to him for the word of power and the breath of life that alone can change this valley of dry bones into an exceeding great army of living souls and soldiers of the cross And we shall find that there are resources, more resources among us, if touched by the consecrated power to save the city to save the world. The Christian and Missionary Alliance the movement began with seven people in a prayer meeting 140 years ago, that now has an expression in 80 Different countries of 6 million people. Because one man did not fall asleep, the ink, why is the incarnation of Christ so important. Jesus didn’t become flesh and dwell among us, so that the church could sleep. So the church wouldn’t give a rip about those who are dying, without knowing Jesus. For a B Simpson, and the Christian Israelites movement, that was the stake in the ground 140 years ago. Jesus did not become flesh in the Incarnation just so Cityview that we could just sleep and build a beautiful building, but rather to be the very presence of God in our community. And God can use both. We are to be sent ones were to be present his presence where were sent in the tradition here at this church. There’s some obedience and sacrificial giving. I am blessed to be in a line of many workers who have been sent out Herban Debbie lamp, right. Diane Elias and Denise Shuman, Jeff and candy Campbell, my sister faith and Greg Hearst, us, even Mike and Hannah shirts, and I probably have missed some other ones. You guys have facilitated the presence of God in many places around the globe, because you believe that the incarnation of Christ makes a difference here and over there. But it’s not just something in the past, it’s something in the present, and the future as well. I don’t know who here is the next missionary to be sent. But I do know all of us are to be present. All of us are to be present where we’re at to be Jesus, to close the gap for those who don’t have access. Who was who came in full of grace and truth that we can be His grace and truth to those who do not yet know.
In this church, you have an amazing staff who brings God’s word faithfully.
Every week. As you recite the crease and live out the Creed, this is rich soil, rich soil for to be present here and things to grow.
I just I love the picture of in here of things grow of light of shining of Jesus here in DuPage County. But it’s also rich soil for those to hear a young, middle aged driven old a give back, you don’t have to just be 30 to be a missionary, to be sent. Because I’ve got 30 more years of life, you can leave right now we’ve got some people are being sent 65 second, second career. But the soil is rich, God is good, The fields are white unto harvest, the need is still great. They’re still at 31st, Haitian woman that needs to know Jesus, down in the Dominican Republic, there’s still another 1000 Kids in the middle of Paraguay that need to know that Jesus loves him. And not just because someone is bullying them, beating them up. In fact, in our church, in Uruguay, one of our deep friends and family, friends are not part of the church yet. We pray for them. They call this up while we’re back here on home assignment. We’re here in the US this year, for visiting, for preaching for teaching, and as many of you know, also for for some medical reasons, and thank you for your prayers. Melanie has healed she is better. And we praise God that she didn’t need chemotherapy or what else is there? Radiation and we’re grateful. We’re grateful for that. But this family called us and said hey, would remind me when is youth group down in Montevideo, and pastor, Pastor brand has been in Montevideo he came to visit many of you actually came to visit visit us in Spain and and do some ministry, Karen Anderson here there. But right there and multi veil, this, this family said yeah, you know what? Because our son Pedro is getting he’s getting bullied at school. And we know that there’s a safe place in the youth group. These guys are not that you know they’re not looking for they’re not looking No, Jesus, they’re looking for a safe place for their kid to have fellowship. But you know what? They’re gonna find Jesus. He’s gonna find people who love Jesus in that youth group. So you asked that family, what was that Emma, you know, being meaningful, impactful presence was it was it worth being there, I’m telling you, church, by you sending us and supporting us. But you could send from all the list of all the missionaries on the website, everyone would have a story of being the very presence of Christ in a place that you might not be able to be there. Maybe you’re not the one to learn the language to go and do the task. Or to even have the if it’s not just a preaching, but even if you’re doing something vocationally, but you’re making it possible, you’re facilitating that the gospel continues to go that the incarnation of Christ does mean something. It’s a miracle that saves us. And it’s also the model of our service. In this world, there’s a lot of spiritual darkness, no doubt, their spiritual blindness. We were just in I was talking to pastor Brandon, we’re just in Cleveland, listen to some of our brothers and sisters who are very dark place in the world where there is demonic oppression, where there’s manifestations of the of the of the other world. But you know what, there is manifestation of Christ. We just don’t have to read the Scriptures to see it. And water, the wine raising of Lazarus, he is doing stuff right now among us. Change your life like Pastor Angel, changing lives in the Dominican Republic. And you don’t want changing lives in this very church. Yes, there’s more lives to be changed, there’s more. But in full of grace and truth, Jesus is here. And he’s asking us and He’s inviting us to extend his invitation to be His very presence. I know that the Gaias team here led by Dave Kim and others, that you know what, they’re vigilant. They’re on their knees, this spiritual apathy. And a spiritual and a spiritual darkness is not penetrating this church. It’s not penetrating this pastoral staff, these elders, because these elders care about scripture, they care about the loss, the incarnation of Christ makes all the difference in their lives. That’s why they’re getting up to preach and to be here, and to lead the church, and to lead the church through those new doors as a church comes in as this church goes out. For the glory of God. So it would be sad of this church of Cityview, that Christ would be brought glory.
I’m just going to ask you to stand to receive this prayer. AB Simpson was saying, Let us awake, he was sounding an alarm. I think it’d be rude if I had a air horn. But you get the point. You probably wouldn’t appreciate that. But that’s what he’s saying. Church. This is the our opportunity may and if the musicians want to come up, I think we got some more reflection and song but God is so good. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We saw his glory, the glory of the One and Only Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Let’s pray. Father, God, that Scripture, the incarnation of Christ is so important, chronologically comes before the crucifixion. But without the Incarnation, there’d be no crucifixion. There could be no resurrection, there could be no, you paint you by coming flesh made it all possible, that we could know you, that finite man could be known by infinite God, that you could redeem us. Because you love us. You pursued us from heaven to here. And you’re asking us and inviting us to populate heaven by sharing your good news, with a dying and needy world. Father, I thank you for Cityview and I pray for the pastoral staff. And for all the pastors here all of these, it’s a, it’s a priesthood of believers, it’s all going forward going out to be present. But Lord, if you are working and you are working, I take that back. You are working. As you’re calling me, we listen and have the opportunity to respond. And I think there are people here who would respond to say, Lord, here I am, send me I’m grateful for this church, that there is a commitment to the formation of disciples, formation of disciples here in DuPage County and to the ends of the earth. Help them in their discernment, to understand and to guide and to lead. Those would be sent once and help them to continue to facilitate those who are sent and who continue to send thank you, Jesus, for becoming flesh, not impersonal, but very personal. who created all things? Who holds up all things? Who holds up this church? For the impact of the glory of this nation in this world, we pray these things in the blessing name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

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