Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Tonight — Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24th, 2012 — at 7 pm: “A Savior Has Been Born To You” (Luke 2:8-10)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christmas Eve is tonight — Monday, December 24th — at 7 pm at Crean Lutheran High School.

From the 405 or 5 take Sand Canyon east towards the hills (northeast Irvine).

Cross Irvine Blvd.

Turn right at Saints Way onto the campus of Crean Lutheran High School.

We worship in the hard shell “tent” building.

Come and join us this holy night. We are excited to offer a Candlelight Service of Scripture Readings, Hymns, and Sermon complete with a candle for everyone in attendance as we sing “Silent Night”. This night we celebrate the gift of God born in the flesh to save us from sin, death, and the power of the evil one. He came into our lives to give us eternal life. With great joy we gather tonight. We would love to welcome you to this service!

Here is an excerpt of the sermon tonight:

So again, the shepherds epitomize this great reversal. They are not kings, governors, Roman centurions, or priests, but shepherds, so that the theme of the Gospel would be established from the very beginning of Christ’s coming into the world: God has come for the weak, not the strong. Some will object, “But I thought the angels said for ‘for all people,’?!” Yes, true, but the strong reject the Savior who comes; He does indeed come for the strong as well, but the strong do not need Him (so they miscalculate); they love the world more than anything else; and they do not want the things of God; they do not want Jesus; they believe that they do not need Jesus, so even though Jesus comes for them as well, He is also rejected by them. This is why we say He does not come for the strong. We are simply pointing to the end result. Because the strong reject Him, they do not receive Him.

Instead, He comes to the poor shepherds who represent the poverty of hearts and spirits weighed down by sin; He comes to the exhausted, the lowly, and the despairing. Some of us despair because we are ashamed – struggling with a sinful addiction – some of us are filled with guilt knowing that what we have done and what we are doing is no only an affront to others created in the image of God, but rebellion towards God Himself, and some of us are full of fear for that medical diagnosis or that situation that seems to be spinning out of control…all such conditions make us feel weighed down with sin, poor, and weak. And in the world’s version of Christmas the ironic “solution” is to try hard to mask what we despair of through merchandise that will fade and money that is useless for repairing broken hearts. If you relate to what I’m saying then you’re like the shepherds…you too are like those who take great joy that Jesus has entered your life, your real life. If He could come for the poor, dusty shepherds, then He could – and did – come for the likes of you and for the likes of me!

Thank God that he came to shepherds! Hear the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 9: “But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (vv 12-13).” And hear from Matthew 11: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (v 28).” These words fit shepherds, and more importantly, they fit you.

In Your Service and To Christ’s Glory,

Pastor Espinosa



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