Isaiah 2:3 "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways, And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Have you ever had something, and thrown it away, and then - once its gone - you find out it was valuable. Most of what they call antiques and collectibles is only yesterdayís junk. Old toys, old comics, old baseball cards, there are 2 reasonís why people want them, a.) because they are rare, and many people like to be the only one how have it. They think it makes them special. The other reason, is because these things bring back memories, and good memories are valuable things. Christmas is coming, and with it new things, some will be good and useful, others are like the proverbial fruitcake, the thing no one wants, and no one knows what to do with. In the week following Christmas, many things will take their place with the lost and forgotten things of yesterdayís junk.
The Christmas tree, will be dry, and the needles falling off, it will come down and be gone, along with the ribbons, bows and torn wrapping paper from many presents. Some decorations will be put away until next year, some have seen their last year. And in the hustle and bustle, Iíd like you to imagine, that in putting away the manger, somehow baby Jesus got thrown away. Many wonít even notice heís gone until next year, long after theyíve forgotten where the straw from the manger was taken. And if just the thought makes you a little more careful in putting away the manger, then why is it that we can remain so careless, not only of baby Jesus, but of the gift of salvation he comes to bring.
And thatís what our lesson tonight is all about. You see there is a time that is coming when everyone will want to see baby Jesus, and be close to him, and follow him. A time is coming when people from all over creation will come, climb the mountain of God that they may enter the house of God to learn Godís way, and when they learn Godís way, they will do what they have learned. After all, these people will know how far they have traveled, and how long they have journeyed, and when they arrive, they will not forget what it was that was their goal.
They traveled to get to the mountain of God. They climbed the mountain so that they could get to the house of God. They entered the house of God that they could hear the word of God. And they learned the word of God so that they could walk in Godís ways, and keep to Godís paths. They knew that there were other ways, they had already traveled many of them, but they had come to know that there was no path they could travel, or way they could go, which would bring them peace with God, forgiveness of sins, and bring life everlasting. All the other ways, they knew what they were, they were sin. And sin leads only to one thing, death. And so when they heard of a way, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not only did they come to hear, but they came to live as God had called them to live.
Now we have had all these things almost our entire lives. And Iím afraid that all too often, although we may have heard the Word of God, we do not long to walk in Godís ways. We may be hearerís of the word, but we are not always the doerís of the word that we know we should be.
And so Godís living word comes to us and asks us: Will it be enough for you, to say to all those who are coming to the house of God: We were there once, we heard the word. We learned the promises, we saw God at work in our lives, but somehow it got mixed in with yesterdayís junk, and we threw it all away. There are stories told about the price people would pay to be saved... and stories told about the sacrifices made to bring good things to friends and family. Then there is the story that is told about how someone loved his enemies so much, that he would suffer and die to bring them love, life, and forgiveness - thatís the Christmas story, and the person is Jesus.
Our text challenges us today, to live the life which God has called us to. Our text challenges us today, to hold fast to the treasure that begin in the manger and ends in the cross. Our texts calls to us, has it has to all people of all times, with the same invitation that caused the Wisemen to begin their journey- "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways, And that we may walk in His paths." Let us therefore walk in the paths he has taught us.