Summary: 4 of 4 messages on Christmas. This message was given on Christmas Eve and focused on the coming of God in the flesh.
Classic Christmas Eve
A GREATER MIRACLE THAN THE ONE ON 34TH STREET
December 24, 2006
At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an order that all people in the countries under Roman rule must list their names in a register. 2 This was the first registration; it was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to their own towns to be registered.
4 So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. 5 Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was now pregnant. 6 While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, 7 and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.
A Greater Miracle than the One on 34th Street
You remember the movie “Miracle on 34th Street”. It’s actually pretty tough to avoid this time of year. It’s in b & w. It’s colorized. It’s reviewed, referenced, and replayed to the point that we have parts completely memorized. My favorite part is when all the letters get poured onto the judges desk…
This is the eve of the day we celebrate the coming of – not St. Nicholas, Kris Kringle, or Santa Clause. The miracle of 34th street doesn’t come close to the miracle of God’s birth!
The Miracle of the Incarnation
“Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”
“Fred” in Miracle on 34th Street
As you read through the Bible there are some things that go beyond reason–that goes beyond what are normal, everyday happenings.
For example, Jonah spending 3 days and nights in the belly of a fish before being spued on a Ninevite beach
What about the Red Sea parting and allowing the Israelites to walk across on dry ground. Can you imagine the wind speed that would be required to blow a path across a body of water? That’s something that I doubt that we’ll ever witness ourselves.
Then’s there’s Baalim’s donkey that turns his head and has a conversation with his master.
Fred, our attorney hero in “Miracle on 34th Street” said
The birth of God as a baby boy child certainly fits into the realm of miracles and faith.
Mary was pregnant without ever having been with a man. Somehow God sent His Holy Spirit upon Mary and she became pregnant. The act of God becoming a person in human form is referred to as the incarnation. It is rooted in the word “carnal.” Carnal means flesh. A carnival is a party that appeals to the flesh. Chile con carne is Chile with meat in the sauce. A carnivorous animal eats meat.
God – incarnate – is God in flesh and blood. He has become one of us! This is a miracle that by itself is larger than any 10 Santa Clause stories!
A little girl went to her mother one day and asked, "Mommy, where did I come from?"
The mother knew that this day was going to come and had dreaded having this discussion, but she was prepared. She pulled out a book that she had bought for this discussion and began sharing with her daughter about the birds and the bees and how children were brought into the world.
After the mother was done with her talk the little girl said, "That’s nice mommy. But Jimmy says he’s from Oklahoma and I was just wondering where I had come from."
Once we understand how we were brought into the world, then it goes against reason to think that a woman could bring a child into the world and still be a virgin – but if you or I were God how else to better share with human kind the experience and life we have every day – in bodies of flesh and blood.
If we accept that there is a creator God who loves his creation why not accept the idea that he chose to live with us for a season.
The Miracle of the Incarnation
14 The Word became a human and lived among us. We saw his glory—the glory that belongs to the only Son of the Father—and he was full of grace and truth.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
The birth of Jesus was unprecedented, unimaginable, and unequaled. So why did God have His Son be born into a world in a very natural, but also a very unique way?
To show that we have a God who understands what we go through.