Sermons

Summary: Christmas is still the good news that unto you is born a Savior. It is still a message of hope, joy, and peace that causes men to glorify and praise God.

When I was a shoeshine boy back in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1945, I remember

being down town when suddenly horns began to blow, bells ring, whistles shriek, and people

everywhere in the streets, and stores began to sing, hug, laugh, and shout. Paper began

flying from the windows all over town. The good news had come that the war was over. It

was a message that brought forth an immediate and enthusiastic response of joy. If you

took that same message today and read it from the history book to the people in Sioux Falls,

or any other city where the same time happened, they would not respond as they did then.

The reason is obvious. It is no longer a message, but only a record of what was a message of

good news in the past.

The message of Christmas, however, is so profoundly significant for all time that it can

never become a mere record. It is forever a message of good news. It is a continuously

contemporary message that is as relevant today as it was when the angels first proclaimed it

to the shepherds. Christmas is still the good news that unto you is born a Savior. It is still a

message of hope, joy, and peace that causes men to glorify and praise God. Martin Luther

said, "To us it is not simply an old story of an event that happened 1500 years ago, it is more

than an event that happened once; for it is a gift and a bestowing that endures forever."

This past event is a present experience for every generation. We want to enter into the

experience of Christmas again as we examine three aspects of Luke's account of this historic

and eternal event. First-

I. THE ADVENT OF THE SAVIOUR. vv.1-7

The first message that comes to us from the record is The Hope of History. The story of

Christmas begins with Augustus Caesar. God used a pagan ruler to fulfill His promise to

Israel and the world. There would have been no good reason for Joseph and Mary to go to

Bethlehem for she was near her time of delivery. It was no time for going on a trip. But in

meetings of the Roman government decisions were being made for an enrollment of all the

people for tax purposes. Little did these pagan leaders realize they were passing legislation

that would fulfill prophecy, and eventually spell doom for their pagan worship. God was

using men with no compulsion of their wills, to accomplish His will. This is more than a

record of what God did in the past. It is a message to us that we need not fear the future,

regardless of who rules in history, for God's ultimate purpose will be accomplished. The

good news of Christmas is God is in control and there is hope in history.

The second message we see in verse 7 is The Hostility of Man. This is symbolized by the

statement there was no room in the inn. You would think that with all the providential

guidance of God in this whole story, it would have been no problem for God to have seen to

it that there was a room available. God could have, but He did not, and this is significant.

He did not make everything convenient for His own. Jesus was born into a world where men

were hostile to God. Sin had made men basically self-centered and indifferent to the needs of

others. God did not arrange that all of this be bypassed for His Son. He came unto His own

and His own received Him not.

It would be easy to denounce the inn keeper at this point and hold him guilty for being a

hard-hearted, penny pinching scoundrel. There is not the slightest evidence that any of this

is true. If the evidence tells us anything about the inn keeper, it tells us that he had

compassion on Mary, and even though he had no rooms left, he at least saw that they were

not turned away. He made room for them in the stable. It is not likely they were the only

travelers that could not find a room. Others were no doubt turned away completely.

The text says there was no room. It does not say they were refused a room, nor does it

imply that the inn keeper should have turned someone else out to make room. Joyce Kilmer,

in an obviously Catholic poem, even makes a saint of him, "There was a gentle hostler, and

blessed be his name! He opened up the stable the night our Lady came. Our Lady and St.

Joseph, He gave them food and bed, and Jesus Christ has given him a glory round his head."

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