Summary: Christmas is not simply and event in the past, it is the fulfillment of the plan of God for the past, the present and the future.
People make a lot of assumptions in life. Especially when dealing with a familiar subject. Let me give you an example. A young lady was in her first year of teaching first graders. On the last day of school before Christmas the kids all lined up to give her presents. The first student gave her a small box, she shook it and heard small things rattling inside it, knowing that the child’s father owned a candy store she said, “I know what this is, it’s a box of chocolate.” “Yes, teacher it’s candy.” She took the box from the next student, it was thin and long, his father owned a flower shop, so she said, “I know what this is, you gave me flower.” “Yes teacher, it’s a bunch of flowers.” The next student handed her a tall box, his father owned the local liquor store and it was leaking.” She tasted it and said, ‘I know what this is, it’s Champagne.” “No.” She tasted it again, “Is it wine?” “No, it’s a puppy.”
The Christmas story is one that everyone assumes they know. People think they know all about Christmas. Yet if you asked the average person on the street the reality is that you’d get something about a virgin, a babe in a manger and something about shepherds or wise men or kings. There is so much more to the Christmas story than that. When we are able to see things from God’s point of view the story become gander still.
The true story of Christmas is not linked to one day, or week, or even a season. The Christmas story in essence did not end even with the death of the babe who’s story is still told. Because the impact of that day will echo through out all eternity. It is the impact of God becoming man and dwelling with us. The only one who can properly put that into perspective for us is God Himself, and perhaps the best summary of what it means from a God point of view is found in John.
John didn’t write about shepherds and wise men because he was overwhelmed by the impact of what the incarnation of Christ meant for all people for all time. The story of Christmas is not about a few shepherds, or even Mary and Joseph, the true story is about “the good news of glad tiding for all men.” We celebrate Christmas today still because what happened that day was the defining event of so many of our lives today. That God came to save mankind and we have found Him.
In a couple of weeks most of us are going to go see “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” together. C.S. Lewis wrote repeatedly about finding the “deeper magic.” Sadly for many people there is a hidden story in Christmas. They’ve heard about the babe so much that the missed the God to came to be one of us.
So as we look for the deep magic within the story of Christmas there are three concepts that I want us to focus. The first is that John refers to Christ as “the Word.” John begins his book with these words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
That is an interesting choice of words but I think John was trying to point out the importance of God’s Word. As I looked up the word Logos there were many definitions but the one that stood out to me is that when it comes from God. It is His sovereign declaration of what will happen. God’s Word is His plan. Part of what John is communicating is that the coming of Christ has been God’s plan from the beginning.
That being said what John understood to be scripture, what we call the Old Testament is the dedicated to the revealing of this plan. It is revealed through our relationship. The Word of God tells us our past relationship with God. God spent a long time, working through many people to reveal the meaning of Christmas, of His coming to us. The writing of the Bible spanned 1,500 years.
The most important lesson we take from our past is our need for God. Think of the heroes of the Old Testament. All of them had flaws. Abraham, the father of the Nation of Israel had a disturbing lack of faith. Moses, the Prince of Egypt was a murderer. David, we won’t get into David yet. Noah, was considered righteous only after God gives him grace. All of our heroes had flaws.
Even Joseph, the son of Jacob had some problems when he was younger. Having dreams that your brothers and father will serve you are one thing, but repeating them is another. Joseph had some pride issues. All of us when we are honest know that we have flaws. That is part of our story we have a need for God, He is the only one who can give us the strength to be the people we want to be. That is the prayer that Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:16, “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.” The strength to become the person that each of us wants to be does not come from ourselves. It comes from God changing us from the inside out. We need His strength.