Summary: Let us view the Christmas story through a much different lens this year as we discover the powerful impact on humanity when Jesus was born. It was indeed a series of unlikely events!
CHRISTmas: A Series of Unlikely Events!
John Lennon once said of his group the Beetles that “We are more popular than Jesus”. While it may be true that the Beetles were or even are more popular than Jesus, what is not true is that the Beetles were not nor are better known than Jesus.
It is this time of year, more than any other, that we realize this to be the case. With carols being sung, plays being performed, nativities being set up, poems being written and sermons being preached it is not hard to see the truth: it is not about Santa Clause or presents or trees or wreaths or food, fellowships or even family. Jesus Christ is the ONLY reason for this season! And, it all started through a series of unlikely events.
Standing in reverence to the reading of the Word of God this morning as we turn to:
Luke 2:8-14 and verse 34
1. An Unlikely People-Shepherds (Vs. 8-10)
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.” –Luke 2:8-10
Glory came down so that heaven could fill my soul! This is the day that heaven touched earth, sin encountered grace, evil was overrun with love and the darkness of sin was penetrated with His glorious, redeeming light! This, indeed, was, is, and always we be good news! And this marvelous announcement, the hope of humanity, was made to…drumroll please…lowly shepherds!
Not to the:
• Religious: You would think that an announcement of such spiritual magnitude and religious significance would be made to those who were busy keeping the law, keeping clean and considered by all to be righteous. Yet the announcement was made to shepherds. Shepherds who were far from any of these things, in fact, they were considered to be at the lowest of all social orders: filthy, smelly, illiterate, uneducated and even dishonest, so much so that they were not allowed to even testify in a court of law! And, they were considered to be at the lowest of all spiritual orders: unclean, not allowed to come to church or participate in the religious rites and ceremonies and even had a Rabbinic Ban placed on them.
• Rulers: Likewise, you would think that such an announcement would be made to the rulers of the world: the kings of the nations, the princes of the lands and the generals of the greatest militaries. Yet the announcement was made to shepherds. Shepherds who could only claim authority over dumb, disobedient and distracted sheep.
No, this most eternally significant announcement was not made to the religious or to the rulers of that day.
But to the:
Jesus Christ came not to those that “had it all figured out” but to “seek and save that which was lost”! The announcement of His coming was to the downtrodden, despised and different, folks like us! (Dennis Morehart in Game Stop “I have found my people”) Oh you may think you have more in common with the religious or the rulers, but I have found my people among the shepherds: downtrodden, despised and different, very lost and very happy that He came for me! I praise God today that THE SHEPHERD came to this dumb, disobedient and distracted sheep.
Unlikely people indeed.
2. An Unlikely Place-Bethlehem (Vs. 11)
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”–Luke 2:11
God comes down in human form, the creator of the world, and chooses the city of David, Bethlehem, to be the birthplace of His Son, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Why is this an unlikely place? As much as the shepherds were the most unlikely people to make the announcement of our Saviors birth, Bethlehem was an unlikely place for Him to be born. Bethlehem did not house the richest ruler, hold the largest library, or contain the greatest military force. Bethlehem was but a small speck of dust on the map and not a place one would visit let alone claim to be from. The prophet Micah said of this unlikely place of Bethlehem, “…you remain least among the clans of Judah…”
Our Lord was not born:
• In a Mansion: You would think that a King would be born in the biggest mansion in the greatest town where His birth would be heralded from the rooftops and celebrated among the royalty.
• Surrounded by Military Might: You would think that a King would be born protected by the nation’s best and strongest military force. That elite troops would ensure His safety and that only the select and elect would dare approach Him.