Summary: Short all-age talk for 2009 Christmas Eve services. Many people come from our community. Talk uses an illustration of how I as an earthly Dad might write a book for my children to get to know me better. God has given us a book, but also given us Jesus.
God couldn’t have made Himself bigger to impress us, so He made Himself smaller to attract us.
Knock, knock! Who’s there? Wayne! Wayne who? A Wayne in a manger …
Knock, knock! Who’s there? Hanna! Hanna who? Hanna partridge in a pear tree …
Knock, knock! Who’s there? Doughnut! Doughnut who? Do not open until Christmas Day …
Well normally any presents I wrap up would come with the instructions ‘Do not open until Christmas Day’ but just this once I thought I would let my children open a present each a day early. So come on (Stephen, Matthew, and Rebekah) here’s your chance to open one before Christmas Day.
[My children open a gift-wrapped, home-made book at this point. The cover says, “The story of my Dad”]
What’s the book called? (My children should reply: “The story of my Dad”.) Who is the author? (They should say: “My Dad”!)
Don’t worry, I have bought them some other gifts as well to open tomorrow, but I thought I would give them my story so they can get to know more about my background, where I came from and why. It’s a book about me, from me to my children.
But of course all of that has been written just from my perspective. My children are probably thinking: “I’ve got lots of stories I could tell about my Dad. If people really want to know about my Dad, they need to listen to me.” Yes, it’s true; my children could tell you a few stories about me that would make your hair curl. In fact, so could I; e.g. when I was a teenager and I went to get a perm – because it was fashionable then – and as I sat down in the chair at the Hairdressers I looked to my right and was mortified to see my Mum!
But my children could tell you stories about my character good and bad that would help you to get to know me a whole lot better. Some of the stories might make you decide that I should be ‘gunged’, and so I’ve got a bowl of baked beans ready, just in case.
God has given us the Bible - a book about himself, a book about what it means to be human, and a book about God’s plan to save and restore the world through Jesus Christ. God couldn’t have made Himself bigger to impress us, so He made Himself smaller to attract us.
The baby in the manger grew up to be Jesus the man who told lots of great stories about God, and about the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus told stories about his Father-God to help us get to know what God is really like. Some of the stories might make our hair curl, but Jesus shows us that God loves us. Jesus didn’t come to the world to tell us off. He came to save us (12:47).
If we want to get to know God, the author of Christmas, we’ve got his book, we’ve got the stories that his Son Jesus told, and we’ve got Jesus himself to reveal to us what God is like. Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no-one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (12:46). Perhaps you feel you’re in the dark about what really happened to Jesus after Christmas. Perhaps after Christmas you usually turn out the lights on the Christmas event. This year and for the rest of your life, can I encourage you to put your trust in Jesus, the light of the world? Can I encourage you to want to know the eternal, risen Lord Jesus personally for yourself? As we share in the light of the Lord Jesus; may you know his light and peace in your life. Amen!