Summary: Let's put aside our familiarity of the Christmas story, and dig in with an open heart and mind to the message at hand.
William Akehurst, HSWC
Revisiting this old story, with an open mind and heart. Listen and don’t glaze over. There is more than meets the eye when we delve in.
I don’t know who to give credit to for this message. I had read a message for Christmas in times past and made these notes to share. Today is the appropriate time to share. I thank the LORD as the originator, and for the Holy Spirit’s teaching me and adding to this message.
THE SIMPLE STORY – Often glazed over
Simple yet familiar story.
So many of us hear the message of Christmas and respond by tuning out.
I’ve heard that before.
Tonight, let’s look again at this old but precious story with all your heart and with all your mind.
Story begins before the beginning of time
Before the foundation of the world was laid, God planned that His Son would be slain for the sins of mankind.
From the beginning of Genesis through all the OT, many prophecies proclaimed the coming of the Messiah.
He would be born and live among us
He would be the Bread of Life, the Living Water
He would be the Lamb of God that takes away our sins
Mary and Joseph, chosen by God. Mary, to be the mother of God’s Son. Joseph to be the one to care for them.
As the Story begins – there are difficulties
Mary is pregnant before she is Joseph’s wife. Rumor and Gossip run rampant through the streets.
A Census is to be taken, Caesar Augustus decrees that families must return to their home town for the census.
Even though a baby is due at any time, Mary and Joseph must make the 75-80 mile journey from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea.
A hard journey, walking and riding a donkey. Several days to do so. Pregnant, almost ready to deliver.
NO ROOM. Upon arrival there is no room in the inn. Looking upon the 2 of them, perhaps the Inn keeper had room in his inn, for someone of importance. But not for them.
Had they been more influential, perhaps there would have been room. But for common people, there was not place to stay.
Yet, Compassion by the innkeeper to use the stable.
COMPLICATIONS: Mary’s condition, Travel, Lodging
A Happy Celebration: New baby born.
Mother and Joseph celebrate knowing the baby was God’s Son.
His birth was a miracle.
Celebrate Christmas because Christ came to this earth and was born.
Celebrate Christmas because Christ was born in our hearts.
Celebrate because as Christians Christ is in us.
SIGNS OF COMPASSION
The innkeeper gives the stable area
Mary lovingly wraps the child in strips of cloth and lays him in a manger.
Jesus, God’s own son, was born for you and me, not in some great place, but in a humble setting. He was born to live, and show us how to live. He was born to die, as he would be nailed upon a cross, giving his life for your sins and mine.
NOW: Season’s Greetings. Happy Holidays, Have a great holiday. Xmas. Taking Christ out of Christmas
Its not just a holiday. Its Christmas. The birthday of our LORD JESUS CHRIST and we celebrate his coming into the world, God in Flesh, Emmanuel, God with us
What is our response to the good news of Christ’s coming?
Lets look at this story a little more in-depth.
1. INNKEEPER. Never mentioned in the bible, there was an Inn, but no mention of the innkeeper. We assume so.
Who was he? Some grumpy old man who slams the door in Mary and Josephs face, or some gentle kindhearted person who was so busy that he really didn’t have time to do much to help.
Many people today are too busy to give time to the Lord, other things take first place, God takes last place.
WRAP: Put Christ First
2. SHEPHERDS. Lower class of Israel. Rejects of society. Dirty Job, gone for weeks at a time. Living in the wilderness, with sheep.
a. God reaches across all barriers. He wanted the shepherds to be the first to know that in the City of David, a Savior was born.
b. They were privileged. First opportunity to worship him.
c. We are privileged. We are free to worship and hear the gospel preached.
d. We are here because we took time out to be here, or because someone urged us to come here to hear this message
3. HEROD. Response of Fear
a. When the wise men came asking about the newborn king.
b. Herod summons his religious leaders asking if they knew anything.