Summary: What is the meaning of Christmas.
INTRO: I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I trust you are enjoying the holiday season.
-How many opened presents last night? How many are opening presents today? Then there’s no real hurry to get through this sermon today.
-When I think about Christmas, two of them stand out. One of them was when I was a little boy, when I got my first bike. It was bright green and I thought it was cool how the Christmas lights reflected off of it.
-The second was when Tammy and I were dating a couple of months. I got this bright idea to wrap up these old leather boots and surprise her. She wasn’t too surprised—it went over like a lead weight. I was trying to be funny and it wasn’t funny to her.
TS: How many times do we get disappointed over the Christmas season, whether it not spending time with the relatives or it’s spending time with the relatives? Or maybe we’re disappointed in the gifts we got or the gifts we couldn’t give. Christmas has been disappointing. I would say don’t miss the reason for the season.
Warning: We can make the same mistake the devout and religious folks made when they missed the importance of Jesus’ birth.
-Jesus’ birth had been prophesied for centuries prior to his coming. One reason they missed him was that he came wrapped in a way that they didn’t expect.
Point: Many were waiting for a Messiah that would come with all the trappings of power and glory. Instead, the Messiah came wrapped in swaddling clothes (strips of cloth). Instead of a grand palace, the Messiah came into the world through a stable and used a feeding trough for a bassinette. Instead of coming as a mighty warrior, the Messiah came as a baby, needing to be fed and changed.
TITLE: Are You Missing the Meaning?
TEXT: Luke 2:6-7
I. Setting. The emperor Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census be taken over the entire Roman world. A. Requirements. Everyone had to go back to his own hometown to register.
1. Joseph and his soon-to-be-wife were traveling back to their hometown of Bethlehem because he was of the line of David.
2. Mary was about to have a child. Can you imagine traveling when you’re pregnant and about ready to have a child.
-Lo and behold, you’re in labor pains and there is no room anywhere. So you have to go to the barn with the animals.
-Jesus is born in a smelly manger. Imagine the king of the universe born with the animals.
B. I believe this humble beginning was to relay a message to us
-That God understands what it means to be human, coming down in poor conditions rather than a rich palace.
1. It would be hard enough for God to become man.
-What a step down even in a rich setting.
Point: God knows what it means to be human. God knows what it means to be like us. II. What does it mean that God became like us?
A. First, we know that he understands what we go through every day of our lives because he made the trip before.
1. He came and shared in the very same drudgery that sometimes we have to endure. He has wept like we weep.
-He hungered like we hunger. He saw death take those he loved just like we experience. -He has seen how disease has ravaged people.
-He knew weariness of pain and suffering.
B. Secondly, he knows what injustice is about. He knew what it meant to feel betrayed by a friend.
1. Have you ever been accused of doing something that you didn’t do?
-He knows what that is like.
2. Have you ever had to pay the price for someone else’s failure? Jesus wore a crown of thorns and hung on a cross for our sins. Because he had to go through so much pain, he identifies fully with us.
C. What does it mean that God became like us? When God promises to wipe away our tears, it isn’t without understanding the hurts that cause them. Jesus lived them all.
1. When God promises to come to us to bring peace and joy, it isn’t a vacuum, he knows both our perspective.
2. When God promises to give us forgiveness, he does so knowing the high cost of that forgiveness because he paid the price for that forgiveness.
D. What does it mean that God became like us? He understood the frailties of mankind. 1. He understood the temptation we all face on a daily basis.
-Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin."