Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God becomes human on Christmas. Why? This is the one Christmas "thing" you won’t want to put away.


What if you were forced to give up something during Christmas – you couldn’t have it all. If you had to choose between the gift-giving, or the decorating – you can’t have both - which one would you give up? Either you have decorations, but no gifts, or you have gifts, but no decorations. Or what about this one – either you can have Christmas music, or Christmas food – you can’t have both - which one would you let go? Would you prefer a quiet house with food? Or the music of Christmas, but no food? What about this one – decorations food – which one could you give up? Either you have the decorations, but nothing to eat, or you have food, but no lights, and no tree. Do you know which one a lot of people give up? It’s the most common aspect of Christmas that is “left behind” – and that is remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. A lot of people skip that one. “I’d love to go to church on Christmas. But we have a family gathering, with the gifts and the food and the music around the tree – you can’t have it all at Christmas– I have to give up something, and so I’m going to give up remembering Christ on Christmas – I’m just going to have to let that part go this time of the year.”

If you wanted to sum up Christmas in one Bible passage, what would it be? I got one for you if you don’t want to page around. Look at John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” That, my friends, is the essence of Christmas. There once was a man in a cave in Africa on December 25th. He was all by himself – no Christmas gathering with all the relatives. He had not gifts, no decorations, no music, and no pile of food. Not even a glass of eggnog – can you imagine, on Christmas! All he had was a torn up, old Bible. But somehow, he knew it was Christmas. And so, he opened his Bible up to John 1:14, and he read to himself, “The Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us” and then he closed his Bible, and prayed in his heart, “Thank you God.”

In the meantime, there was a family in America. The house was decked out with every Santa decoration you can buy – you know those ones you can blow up now, and put on your front yard, all lit up? The house was packed with people – relatives you like, and relatives you don’t even know. Bing Crosby was singing about snow and open fires on the home entertainment system. The table was covered with piles of food. Children were opening up one gift after another as the parents made small talk in the background. A good time was had by all. And then, one by one, everyone went home. There was no mention of Jesus that night, or the next morning. Nothing.

Now, who really celebrated Christmas – the man in the cave, pondering in his heart that “the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us” – or the traditional, jolly family gathering? Isn’t it a blessing this morning, that you don’t have to sit by yourself in a cave somewhere, with nobody around. You don’t have to worship God on your own. What a blessing, that we can gather together as a Christian family this morning, and ponder this miracle of God – the Word becomes flesh – God becomes human - let’s look at that today – John chapter one.

The “Word” obviously is who? It’s Jesus, isn’t it. In fact, you can substitute “the infant Jesus” where it says “the Word” and come up with some interesting pictures. Look at verse one – read it with me: “In the beginning was the ‘infant Jesus,’ and the ‘infant Jesus’ was with God, and the ‘infant Jesus’ was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Isn’t that amazing to think about? Jesus existed long before Christmas. Technically, Jesus wasn’t “born” on Christmas – he became a human being on Christmas. Jesus existed long before he became human. He was even around when? At the beginning of time. The infant Jesus was God.

Do you know why the Gospel of John calls Jesus “the Word”? In Old Testament times, if you wanted to see God, where did you have to look? I want to see God – I will look… Well, nature gives me somewhat of a picture. But for a real clear picture of God, I would have to look where - at the Word – the Old Testament. And they didn’t have books back then, like we have today. In fact, most people didn’t read. Most people would… listen. If I wanted to see God, I would have to go to the temple or the synagogue, close my eyes, and listen, and I would hear the Word of God. I would listen to the amazing stories, the gracious promises, the warnings, the blessings – those words were how I saw God.

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