Summary: A sermon about preparing oneself for the coming of Christ at Christmas and into our lives in General.
Some years ago there was a popular wall hanging that hung in many homes it said.
Christ is the head of this house, the unseen guest at every meal the silent listener to every conversation.
Guess who’s coming for dinner.
In 1967 there was a acadamy award winning movie called guess who’s coming for dinner.
The film focuses around a mother and father (Tracy and Hepburn) who’s daughter brings home her fiancee, who just happens to be African-American. Suddenly, the parents find their morals and their principals being questioned and they find themselves battling their own demons. For Spencer Tracy’s character, that demon comes in the form of his racist side, a side he never knew he had. Hepburn is more understanding and happy for her daughter.
The point is, in life, we should expect the unexpected.
We just never know when our hopes and dreams collide with reality just how different they may turn out to be.
In twenty three days families all around New Zealand will meet for Christmas Dinner.
In the midst of the normal commercial and social frenzy the Christian is asked the question – guess who is coming for dinner?
Christ is the special guest at your Christmas dinner!
The question relates not so much to the person who might be joining us on Christmas day – but rather the person who is the cause of the celebration Jesus Christ.
What happens this Christmas is the anniversary of the first Christmas.
But we know from the bible that although Jesus has ascended into heaven – He is coming again.
As we approach Christmas we do well to ask questions about the character the personality and the nature of the person whom we celebrate at our christmas dinner .
In a real sense Jesus is our dinner guest.
When he is invited to dinner in the bible he always is surprising.
Peter invited him to dinner and he heals his Mother in law.
Some Pharisees invite him to dinner and he challenges everything they believe.
At an impromptu meal at the beach shortly before he ascended to heaven Jesus challenged his disciples to look after his sheep.
When Jesus comes to dinner he changes things completely.
At emmaus – after his death on the cross Jesus spent time at a meal with two of his followers – They never quite guessed who was coming to dinner.
LK 24:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
When Jesus is in our midst our hearts will burn within us and our lives will change.
I guess one of the things Mary has in common with us was that she – too was anticipating the coming of Jesus.
Like the movie, Guess who is coming to dinner, there may be some necessary adaption and growth in understanding if we want to truly understand the nature of our Christmas dinner guest and demonstrate the correct response to our guest.
Today I want to suggest three things that Jesus brings to the Christmas season. Three things that Jesus brings us, which if understood, will transform what we actually do at Christmas. Three things that make Advent an ADventure
The first thing is Jesus brings us long term security –
Freedom from fear.
LK 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
LK 1:29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.”
The reason people feel fear is because they are or feel they are out of favour with God.
Yet it is often at a place of unfamiliarity and extremity that one finds God.