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Christ Community Church in Frisco is a Church of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). We encourage you to browse our website to see what we are about, what we hope to be, and how we hope to get there.

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Socks and Underwear

December 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Thoughts derived from an Advent Series from Cypress Church in Columbus, OH.

There is so much hope on Christmas morning right? You head downstairs and there are presents under the tree with your name on them. Many of which are from a man you have only met in the mall a couple of times.  But a lot leads up to that morning.

You get the list from your family of what they want.  You scourer store after store for those items.  Then you take wrapping paper and do your best to make the gift presentable. Yes, in the end, it looks like hallmark vomited on whatever you got your family, but at least it is something they get to open. So you place it under the tree and wait for Christmas morning.

And then there are your gifts.  As a child I remember getting home from school and checking under the tree to see if any other packages had shown up with my name on it.  I’d grab the gift, take into consideration the size, the weight, the balance, and try to guess what it could be. Then place it under the tree again and hope that no one noticed that it moved. Then wait.

And wait.Socks and Underwear

And wait.

Can you imagine being an Old Testament Jew? How long do you think they waited for Christmas? How long have you waited for the prophecies to come true?

They knew God was going to send someone to fix the problem and they waited.

They were slaves in Egypt waiting for a Deliverer; they got one, but not the one that would deliver them from their sins.

They wanted a King to lead them like the other Kingdoms around them. They got the King they wanted, which led to the deaths of 100,000s of Jews. The line of Kings after David left the kingdom more and more exposed. And they waited for a Messiah to free them.

Jeremiah 33:14-16 = 14 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

So Israel Waited.

Through the Minor Prophets all the way to Malachi, and then there was silence.

And some lost hope. Some said that the Messiah would never come.  That it was just fanciful thinking and that we are on our own. 

But some had hope.  Some watched the stars looking for the Messiah’s star, waiting to set out to bring gifts to the new King.

Some waited in Jerusalem, and prayed that God would send their deliver.  Their Emmanuel.

How would he come? What would he look like? What would he do?

These were all questions hopeful Jews asked.

We ask similar questions on Christmas morning, don’t we?  How will it be wrapped? What will it look like? How will I get to use it?

And we wait.

Christmas morning hits and there sitting in the corner is a new gift. Wrapped really well you might add.  It looks like a shoebox.  Those new pair of “Air Jordans” you wanted, or if you are me, new pair of awesome soccer cleats.  So that morning goes by, you wait to open gifts.  In my family we have a routine of getting breakfast ready first, then eating our cinnamon rolls while opening gifts.  So you wait till breakfast is done.  You wait until someone passes you that gift, and with great anticipation you open what you believe to be that pair of Jordans you have had your eye on.  You were right, it was a shoebox, and you open the shoebox, and there in the shoebox are socks and underwear.

It’s that type of gift you get at Christmas that you need but you really don’t want.

You see, the Gift Israel needed, the Gift the world needed, was not the gift that many of them wanted.

They thought they were going to get a King like David. Not a Temple Lamb born for the slaughter. 

They thought they were going to get their gaming system, or new car, or fine jewelry, but instead they got Socks and Underwear. 

They got the gift they needed, but not the gift they wanted.

They got a baby in a manger, not a king on a thrown.  They got a guy who would say that he came to take away the sins of the world. All we had to do was “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is here!”

They took for granted their gift.

How often do you treat your savior likes Socks and Underwear?

There are three things I want us to pull away from the Old Testament anticipation of the Messiah.  As we look to their waiting in light of our own waiting for the Messiah’s return. Promises, Trust, Expectations.

While waiting, we lose sight of the promises, loose trust in the promise giver, and create false expectations of the promise.

Promises

God promises a Messiah to Israel.  In total most scholars believe there are well over 100 OT passages that refer to the Messiah. 

Do you hold to promises God has made to the church? To you? Or is it easier to ignore them, and live like they probably won’t happen.

Do you live with anticipation holding onto the promises, or do you rarely think of them at all. Do you live your life like you aren’t waiting on anything?

Do you treat your Savior like socks and underwear, or the greatest gift of all?

There are tons of scripture passages that deal with the promises that God has made to us as the church and what we get to look forward to when he returns. (John 3:16; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11)

Trust

Now maybe you do believe the promises, and not only that but you have taken them to heart and do your best to live them out day by day. But do you trust that he will bring them to fruition, or have you given up hope on people.

How many times in life have trials come and we immediately falter. We assume God has lost control of the galaxy, or at least lost the control of our lives in the midst of everything else he has to take care of. How often are we the Israelites in the dessert wondering if God knows where he is taking us?

Our God has a greater plan than we can imagine, but like the Israelites, we sell him short. We don’t trust that he will follow through.

Expectations

You might understand the promises, you might trust that he is going to fulfill them. But if you have the wrong expectations about God, if you have not studied the scriptures properly then if he doesn’t meet your expectations you will think you opened up the gift of Dirty socks and underwear!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, That whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

Do you have the expectation that belief means praying a prayer once in your life and living like hell the rest of your life?

Christ is not just your savior, he is your lord too.  Do you live with this expectation, or do you treat your Messiah as Socks and Underwear?  Something you open up on Christmas, but you never take the time to put on.

Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion”

Do you hold to the expectation that you now don’t have to do a thing? That Christianity is a passive activity. Christianity is active!

We could go on for a while about false expectation of promises in scripture, but the point is that we need to understand these promises in light of the context surrounding them. In a twitter age, many times we look at the 144 characters of scripture and misinterpret promises because we don’t look at the context surrounding them. Read scripture with the whole of the story in mind. When we don’t, we can treat the greatest gift like socks and underwear.

While waiting, we lose sight of the promises, loose trust in the promise giver, and create false expectations of the promise.

But if we keep his promises in view, our relationship with the redeemer because more real every day and real expectations lead to real joy in all situations.

While we wait, don’t expect Socks and Underwear. Let’s see God as he truly is, the gift that we need, and the gift that we want.

Written by AJ Swanson
Youth Director
Christ Community Church in Frisco

AJ Swanson Pic

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