Summary: A sermon for Christmas to highlight the fact that God became flesh and is with us
For many years Andrew and Susan had an artificial tree.
However this year they decided to get the real thing,
so the smell of Christmas could flow throughout their house
and they could for once have the real thing.
So early in December they approached some locals who told them where they could find the best Christmas trees
and then they went out bush looking for a Christmas tree.
They trudged past dozens of trees, going deeper and deeper into the bush.
Occasionally Andrew would stop and say what about this one.
Susan would reply, “No it’s not right!, no its not good enough”
Andrew would continue finding bigger and better trees
and each time Susan would indicate it didn’t look right.
After some hours, nearly exhausted Susan stopped and said to Andrew, “I give up, the next tree you choose you can chop down, and I don’t care whether it is decorated or not!”
What Susan hadn’t realised is that they were surrounded by the right trees, she was constantly close to the right tree.
Likewise when it comes to God we can miss the fact that God is with us today.
Often we want God to come to us in spectacular and extraordinary ways.
But rather than coming always in a limousine,
God frequently comes to us in something that resembles a second hand Commodore.
John chapter 1 verse 14 indicates that the Word, who is understood to be Jesus. became flesh and lived among us.
Every Christmas we hear that rather than being born in a penthouse or a five star hospital.
God comes to earth as Jesus, born in a stable.
This highlights something extraordinary about God
God chose to enter our ordinary, mixed up world.
This is a world he created, but a world we have caused problems in.
But rather than ignore or disown us, for messing things up.
God comes to us.
He enters this world to help us.
Not always in the obvious
In Matthew 25 verses 31 to 46, Jesus hints at this
When he says some people refused to feed me or give me something to drink.
And their reply was we didn’t recognise you, we didn’t know you were hungry or thirsty.
To which Jesus replies, whatever you do for one of the least of my brothers or sisters you do for me.
Even today God is constantly with us.
He is always present.
He is not just in one place like a church building.
He is with the church, that is all Christians.
So he is also with us in our homes, when we are working in the shed or the garden.
In fact he is with us even when we are shopping, on our holidays, at our work and at schools.
You see for God, every place on earth is sacred.
And he will venture to every corner of the earth.
Often though when we encounter Him we don’t realise it is Him.
Take for instance Holy Communion…
To many people it appears as nothing more than a small sip of wine and a wafer or bread.
Yet every time we take Holy Communion we are encountering God
We are engaging with God.
Likewise what about the people around you today at church.
Do you see them as God’s presence surrounding you?
Now some of us don’t look too spectacular.
Many of us have well known flaws.
However each Christian brings God’s presence into the places they venture.
And we do this when we live according to His ways, when our words and actions are consistent with God’s approach to life.
And that is when our focus for life is loving God and loving others regardless of who they are or what they have done.
God is present in us when forgiveness and acceptance are high priorities in our lives.
Ephesians chapter 1 verse 20 indicates
God’s presence is active in us, when we allow God’s power to influence us.
Most Christians look pretty ordinary,
however by tapping into God’s word
God becomes active not only in our lives but also in the lives of many people we interact with.
And this can be anyone, at anytime
from the young girl who takes the time to visit someone in a nursing home,
to the truckie on the road who stops to help a stranded motorist,
the ladies who cook meals for a family whose life has been affected by a disaster,
the rough looking character who simply asks are you ok.
or the young person who asks can I help.
This is the gift of Christmas.
That God who was born in a stable came to live among us
And he does so still today, through all types of people who make up His church.
So let’s live with our eyes open seeing God among us.