Summary: Our hope is made real as we consider that God became man. Delivered as a Christmas sermon, 2008.
December 21, 2008
Xmas – many people are offended by the X in Xmas
X represents the first letter in the Greek name of Christ
Today I entitled my sermon XHOPE – because Christ adds so much to our hope that we have that I have been talking about the last few weeks
Christ makes our hope something more than just a theory – He makes it tangible, he makes it real. God, through the OT prophets talks of a hope – Christ embodied that hope. His birth makes Hope real. His birth teaches us things about God that we would perhaps know in theory, but would be lacking in a definitive way.
Many concepts of God
• Creator who is uninvolved in creation
• God who is too good for us – cannot be in the presence of evil
• God who is a force – not a personal being
The whole Bible reveals to us who God is but there are some specific realities of this God reveled in the birth of Jesus
Reveals a God …
Who is alive
Not just a force out there
He is a personal God
Not a human being although he became a human being, but there is a life to him similar to our lives
We were created in God’s image
Not a computer giving you information
So many help features are impersonal
Press one for this, two for that
God is alive - a person
One church I read about put on a Christmas program that included a manger scene with their children...
*There was a little 5-year-old boy on the drama team...
-I think he was a shepherd that year...
--And I know he was energetic to say the least!
*This little boy was a handful
-During rehearsals he was all over the place...
-He distracted everyone...
--And turned the director into a nervous wreck!
*She was really worried about how he would do during the performance.
*At rehearsal all week, they had used a baby doll for baby Jesus...
-But during the play, the couple playing Joseph & Mary put their own baby in the manger...
--And our little shepherd didn’t know it.
*During the play, he started edging over to the manger...
-Suddenly he saw that it was a real, live baby...
-And he shouted out: --He’s alive!
OT God is talking
Creation – let us make men…
To the early Patriarchs – Moses, Abraham, Noah
To the prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel
But in the birth of Christ God gave himself a voice that all could hear
He spoke, he interacted with people
John seems to be especially taken by the fact God in Jesus Christ was someone he talked to, someone who interacted with people. God was not just some far off concept – he was a real person.
We write you now about what has always existed, which we have heard, we have seen with our own eyes, we have looked at, and we have touched with our hands. We write to you about the Word that gives life. He who gives life was shown to us. We saw him and can give proof about it. And now we announce to you that he has life that continues forever. He was with God the Father and was shown to us.
XMAS reveals a God who is living, who is like us in that he interacts, that he has personality, that he is not just an impersonal force out there. This changes everything. This is a God who we can talk to. This is a God who hears, who feels, who in many ways is like us. XMAS reveal a God that we can actually know.
Who is caring
No obligation to come to earth
It was not a good trip.
It was a sacrifice to come to earth.
Philippians 2: 6-8
He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Jesus was born to die. His destiny was predetermined. This was part of the plan. When he consented to be born, he consented to live as a human, which was humbling, but he also consented to give his life in a most painful way. And he did that so that we could escape God’s wrath.