Good News of Great Joy for All

Good News of Great Joy for All sounds easy enough.  This is the final sermon in our Christmas series.  We talked about some bad ideas in this sermon – 70s attire, bagless vacuums, and the gospel going back to the Jews.  They rejected it!  True, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t want them.  The gospel is for all!  Does that mean sinners?

The Hapsburgs were a dynasty that spread around the world.  There was a special crypt created in a Capuchin monastery in Vienna, Austria back in 1622.  Did you know that the final spot in the Capuchin crypt was filled this fall?  Princess Yolande de Ligne was the wife of Archduke Charles-Louis of Austria, the fourth son of the last Austrian emperor Charles and his wife Zita. She turned one hundred in May 2023. She died in Brussels on September 13, 2023. She will have the honor of occupying the last available place in the Habsburg family crypt, located in the heart of Vienna.

The problem is that if you want to get into the crypt they don’t just open the door for you.  The funeral procession has a herald.  When they get to the gate of the monastery, the Capuchin monk asks who demands entry?  The herald announces the dead person.  The last Hapsburg to die was in 2011, Otto – 49 titles, former crown prince of Austria-Hungary, and it goes on forever – Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria, and Illyria; Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow; Duke of Lorraine, of Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Bukowina; Grand Prince of Transylvania, Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Silesia, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Guastalla, Auschwitz and Zator, Teschen, Friuli, Dubrovnik and Zadar; Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca; Prince of Trent and Brixen; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and Istria; Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenburg etc.; Lord of Trieste, Kotor and the Windic March, Grand Voivod of the Voivodeship of Serbia.

After all that the Capuchin monk at the door says, I don’t know him.

The monk asks again, who demands entry.  The titles commence, different ones – maybe not royal, civic titles, think meals on wheels and he adopted pets from the shelter.  The Capuchin replies again, I don’t know him.

The monk asks again, who demands entry.  On this third time the herald says, a poor sinner.  Only then will the door to the monastery be opened and the dead Hapsburg ushered down to the crypt.

For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

If you will not see your disobedience – if you do not see yourself a poor sinner, it doesn’t matter where you are buried, God will not have mercy on you.

When we see – when we admit that we have no hope, that’s when God opens the door not the crypt for our dead bodies, but the door to heaven opens where on the Last Day we will enter body and soul.  The guarantee of this truth isn’t your performance and thankful that of your pastor.  It all rests on what Jesus had done.  Nothing can change the payment he made when he died on the cross.  Nothing can change your status of being forgiven by faith in Jesus.  That is The Good News of Great Joy for ALL.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from Romans 11.