Sermon on January 02, 2022
KaB FKB (Volker Aßmann)
annual motto 2022:
“… and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
This sermon is translated from German into English. You can find the original video here
1. You are God’s gift to Jesus
What a tremendous invitation! You can come to Jesus and you can always be sure that HE accepts you. There won’t be a big “but”, no small print in any contract that you overlooked. No, the door won’t be locked to you if you trust Jesus and follow HIM. That is the great promise of Jesus Christ.
What was the background for this sentence from Jesus? HE had fed well over 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and there was still a lot left. As a result, some wanted to make Jesus king and ruler in Israel (6:15). But Jesus escaped from them and did not allow them to be made political leader because His mission was very different. After the miracle of the multiplication of the bread, Jesus spoke of the “bread of life” (6:35) for over 5000 people: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty again. “
Jesus wanted people’s trust and their hearts and lives. Jesus wanted to fulfill their longing for life and their thirst for a fulfilled life. And suddenly the mood changes: For most of them that was too tight, Jesus’ claim too blatant and total. And they turned away from Jesus and went home with no life change. “But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.” (6,36) “
From then on, many of His disciples turned away from HIM and did not follow HIM anymore.” (6,66) “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.“(6: 67-69) And suddenly the question arises: who can then come to Jesus and have eternal life? And Jesus replies and promises: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (6:37) That means: If you trust Jesus, then you are the gift of the eternal and almighty God to Jesus and you are and will remain accepted.
2. The great tension: kicked out or absolutely welcome
I think that is a very deep need of us humans: We don’t want to be locked out and pushed out, we want to belong to them. These include: to your family, to your class or your team at work, to the clique … How much do you do to be part of it ?! How much does it hurt you when you join people you want to belong to, and suddenly they are silent and turn away from you ?! And I am convinced that it is precisely this longing and fear that moves many people with a view to God: will it be enough in the end? Am I good enough, Am I really one of them? Can there be any certainty at all that God has accepted me totally and forever and not maybe at the end of the day still saying: It’s not enough – go away! That sounds so harsh, and sometimes we don’t dare to express this fear. But in our hearts we are driven by this question and uncertainty. And Jesus is using the harsh word “push out” here. And the fact that we put the softer phrase “reject, dismiss” makes our fear all the more evident. But Jesus speaks of “pushing out”.
3. The only requirement (Matth. 22)
We always say that with Jesus there are no “entry requirements or restrictions”. And that’s true and false at the same time. Yes, none of us must and can put our life in order beforehand and make broken things whole and well again, but we can only come to Jesus as we are: Jesus, I can come to you as I am (Manfred Siebald) We actually have to say: We can only come to you as we are. With all disappointment, all guilt and all failure. And yet there is an all-important prerequisite for all of us to get access to God and to be His child. Jesus once told a parable, an example story.
One can also imagine the kingdom of heaven using the example of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. Many guests were invited and when everything was ready he sent his servants to tell them it was time to come. But nobody wanted to come! So he sent other servants to tell them: The feast is ready, and the best meat has been fried for it. Everything is ready, hurry up! But the guests he had invited ignored the emissaries and went about their work. The one went to his field, another took care of his business. Still others grabbed the messengers and mistreated them, some of them even killed them And the previously open door for these people was now locked, and the king invited other guests to the festival, people who apparently did not fit the king at all: > So go out to the street corners and invite everyone you meet! So the servants brought all they could find, good and bad people, and the ballroom was full of guests. But when the king came in to greet his guests, he noticed a man who was not dressed for a wedding. My friend, the King asked him, how is it that you are here without being solemnly dressed as it should be for a wedding? The man didn’t know the answer. Then the king said to the servants: … throw him out …! < (Matthew 22.1-13)
In the past it was sometimes the case that the host presented the invited guests with a festive robe, dress or suit that matched the occasion. What is meant by this gift of party clothes?
Because God knows that we would never fit HIM with all dirt and guilt, HE presents us with the outfit that fits HIM: God gives the redeemed with garments of salvation Isa. 61,10: “I want to rejoice very much in the Lord, my soul should rejoice in my God. For HE has put on me the robes of salvation and dressed me in the robe of righteousness. ” (Revelation 3: 5 and 19: 8)
He forgives us everything that has broken and gone wrong in our life and exchanges our “dirty clothes, which are a sign of this, for white clothes. And HE gives us the “clean slate”, for which we tried so hard and yet didn’t get it.
These “clothes of salvation” in the Bible are white. That means that everyone of us who accepts this gift of forgiveness and the “white festive clothing” from God and relies on God’s promise of acceptance is warmly welcome and can celebrate with us. “I will certainly not push out those who come to me” But this one invitee refused the host’s gift and disregarded it. He wanted to stay the way he was. People do not believe even though they have seen and experienced Jesus (6:36)
“It is demands that cannot be met and that are all too difficult achievements that people refuse. It is precisely the renunciation of all one’s own abilities and the trusting grasping of the unique gift in faith, which they refuse. “(Werner de Boor) That is the only requirement for access to God: No, no one can earn and work for God’s acceptance, but it is and remains God’s gift in Jesus to us all!
“He came into his own property and his own did not accept HIM.” (John 1:11) “
Can the little person thwart God’s will and play his game with God? Is the Father who sent HIM (Jesus) so impotent? “(De Boor) So passed out that in the end it won’t be enough?
4. Jesus vouches for you forever
Jesus does not say: “And I will push them out” but “I will not reject them or push them out!” Jesus is the one who invites to this day. But there are so many people, including those who believe in Jesus, who still have the doubt in their hearts: Will it be enough? Whether God really accepts me, or maybe in the end rejects me and throws me out!
This is the promise of God in the annual motto: “Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will not send out” (6:37). “The father’s will cannot be thwarted.” “Even if people’s no now stand against him like a wall of iron, nevertheless people will come to HIM. With this certainty the work of Jesus takes place at that time and the preaching of Jesus takes place at all times and in all places. ”
“How wonderful: Those who do not like to look at themselves, who have a horror of themselves, whose life and nature are shattered and distorted, can know: I am a gift from God to Jesus in the moment in which I am Throw Jesus at your feet. “(Werner de Boor)
“This is the will of him who sent me, that I should not lose anything (anyone) of everything that He (the Father) has given me.” (6,39 + 40) John 10: 28-30: “I give them eternal life and they will never perish. Nobody will snatch them from me, because my father gave them to me and HE is more powerful than anything else. And no one can snatch them out of my father’s hand (no one can throw them out anymore). The father and I are one.”
5. I accept you!
The annual motto 2022 is and will remain God’s great invitation to you and me, no matter who and how you are and what you yourself and people say about you.
When you sink into your sea of worries
And loneliness takes away all joy from you;
When you get to the end of your strength then come to me, come to me
When the pain takes away your vision of tomorrow
And hopelessness wins the fight;
When your life gets out of hand
then run to me, run to me
I accept you
I’ll catch you,
I hold you tight
and you can trust me
I accept you
because you belong to me
When you don’t see more than your weaknesses
And you don’t forgive yourself for your mistakes;
When you flee from your darker side
Then flee to me, flee to me
With everything that you are, I want to be with you.
No abyss is too deep
no way is too far for me.
(Chriss Lass, Bastian Benoa Rauschmaier, Sam Samba)
This great promise should accompany us this year, give us security and trust and for the rest of our lives!
And the promise of God’s acceptance by Jesus, His Son, should shape our lives so that we do not reject or reject anyone, but accept them from our hearts in Jesus’ name!
Would you also like to get to know this God?